No Child Goes Hungry is pleased to provide a $1000 donation to the Young Men’s Christian Association of Walla Walla (the “Walla Walla Y”). The funds will be used to purchase snacks and juice for children participating in its newest summer enrichment program in Athena, Oregon.
The Walla Walla Y serves 13 rural communities in Washington and nearby Oregon, where over 15 percent of the families are below the poverty level, and over 60 percent of the children qualify for free and reduced lunch programs. For seven to nine weeks each summer, when school is not in session, the Walla Walla Y offers week-long enrichment programs that nurture children ages 5 to 14 and support their cognitive, social, and physical wellbeing. The Walla Walla Y provides nutritious snacks and meals for the children during each day of the program.
In 2021, at the school district’s request, the Walla Walla Y will launch its newest program in Athena and surrounding small rural communities served by the district. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered the learning landscape for children in these communities. And while educators, parents, and students have been resourceful and resilient, this unprecedented disruption in the education system has and will continue to impact profoundly academic achievement and student success. Learning loss will be disproportionately felt by already vulnerable students, compounding existing achievement and opportunity gaps.
“On a typical summer day in Athena, the temperature can reach the low 100s,” said Karen Hedine, Walla Walla Y Chief Executive Officer. She adds that the organization will use NCGH’s grant to purchase fresh foods from local farmers and foods that can survive the warm weather, like fruit and granola bars.
“We expect that we will get at least 50 kids over the course of the program,” said Hedine. “The school district is giving us the use of a school so that we will have a kitchen and cafeteria to use to prep fruit slices and snacks. We are excited about this first-ever camp for Athena and surrounding small towns. We are pulling this program together with every dollar of support we can find and are so grateful to No Child Goes Hungry for supporting our program.”
“Our communities will be feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis for months—maybe years to come,” said Kären Rasmussen, NCGH Founder and Executive Director. “This pandemic is hurting so many families, especially those already lacking in local resources, funding, and childhood hunger advocacy solutions. I am proud to partner with the Walla Walla Y and its passionate leaders as they work to elevate the equity of summer enrichment program access in their region and ensure their kids are learning, socializing, and staying healthy.”
To learn how NCGH can help support your local hunger advocacy initiative, contact us today.