Combatting Hunger with Summer Meal Program

In an effort to combat child hunger, the YMCA of Austin will offer its free Summer Food Service Program, partially funded by a $43,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation. Combining food and fun, the program provides nutritious meals and snacks and fun learning enrichment activities to keep youth healthy, active, and well-nourished all summer long.

Research shows that more than 21 million children in low-income communities receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year, but only 2.3 million of these same kids have access to free meals when school is out. To help fill the summertime gap and ensure fewer children go hungry, the YMCA of Austin will serve more than 16,000 children in the community this summer alone. At more than 3,500 summer food program sites nationwide, the Y will strive to serve 13.2 million healthy meals and snacks to 464,000 kids this summer.

The YMCA of Austin is partnering with the Central Texas Food Bank and Austin ISD Food Service to provide the Summer Food Service Program.  Central Texas Food Bank serves thousands of meals daily across the capital area to combat hunger. Together the YMCA and Central Texas Food Bank will partner to feed about 450 children each day this summer. 

“At the Y, through summer program offerings, we are focused on keeping kids mentally and physically active while ensuring they have access to healthy food so they’re well-nourished,” said Andrew Wiggins, District Executive of the YMCA of Austin. “The YMCA’s Summer Food Service Program will help kids stay healthy, active and energized all summer long, ensuring they start the school year ready to achieve.”

Participants in the YMCA’s Summer Food Service Program will receive one meal and one snack per day and enjoy various fun activities. The program will take place at seven different camps and learning centers throughout the Austin area. To reach more youth who may be unable to visit the Y, the four learning centers are “open sites,” which allow any child under 18-years-old to participate. 

The Central Texas Food Bank will provide a lunch and a snack for campers/kids at the following sites:

  • Bastrop Theme Camp
  • East Communities Theme Camp
  • Faith UMC Theme Camp
  • Pioneer Crossing Theme Camp
  • Pflugerville (Concordia) Theme Camp
  • Presidential Meadows Theme Camp
  • Forest Park Learning Center
  • Heights on Congress Learning Center
  • Silver Springs Learning Center
  • Villas on Sixth Learning Center

 Austin ISD Food Service will be providing a breakfast and a lunch for campers at the following sites: 

  • Dawson Theme
  • Fulmore Sports & Fulmore Trailblazer
  • Lucy Read Theme
  • Zavala Theme


The Y is committed to nurturing the physical, mental and social-emotional development of youth and is working to ensure that all kids have access to nutritious meals, so they can continue to be healthy and thrive when out of school. The YMCA’s Summer Food Service Program, now in its seventh year, is part of a year-round effort to fight child hunger in partnership with the Walmart Foundation. In 2016, the Y provided a total of 19 million meals to children across the country through Afterschool and Summer Food Service Programs.

The YMCA of Austin has previously participated in the Summer Food Service Program from 2011-2016.  The Y also serves healthy suppers during the school year and will continue to focus on healthy living through CATCH physical activity lessons and nutrition enrichment activities, adhering to the HEPA (healthy eating and physical activity) standards, and by serving healthy (low-fat, low-sugar, and low-salt) afternoon snacks. 

To learn more about the YMCA’s Summer Food Program, contact Andrew Wiggins at

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to

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