The Walmart Foundation in Bentonville, Arkansas, has announced grants totaling $15.5 million to seven nonprofit organizations working to provide free meal and nutrition education programs this summer and into the fall.
The grants will support efforts in more than 7,700 communities and help more than a million low-income children and their families gain access to meals as well as advice about how to cook and eat healthy. Recipients include the YMCA of the USA, which was awarded $5.3 million to expand food programs that provide healthy meals, snacks, and enriching activities that support the development of 200,000 children in more than 2,300 communities across the country; the National Recreation and Park Association, which will receive $2.3 million to provide more than fifteen million meals to underserved youth and provide nutrition education to more than 257,000 children and families; Baylor University's Texas Hunger Initiative, which was awarded $2.2 million to increase child participation in summer and afterschool meal programs in that state; and the National 4-H Council, which will receive $2 million to provide nutrition education in twenty-four states for underserved youths, with a focus on expanding programs for African Americans and Hispanics.
"While many children look forward to the summer months as a time to relax, it can be a difficult time for families who rely on meals at school," said Karrie Denniston, director of hunger relief and nutrition at the Walmart Foundation. "As in years past, this summer we continue our work with longstanding nonprofit partners to help more kids access meals and learn to develop nutritious eating habits so they can live healthy lives."