Partnership aims to educate parents and community members on healthy, affordable food options available to ensure fewer kids and teens go hungry this summer 

YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) will partner with Leanne Brown, author of the cookbook Good and Cheap, to raise awareness for the Y’s Summer Food Program. The free program, estimated to serve over 7.2 million meals and snacks to nearly 300,000 youth this summer, provides nutritious food, as well as activities, to keep kids’ minds and bodies active when the school year ends. The partnership will aim to educate parents and community members on healthy, affordable food options available to ensure fewer kids and teens go hungry this summer.

The Summer Food Program, in its seventh year, is part of an existing national partnership between Y-USA and the Walmart Foundation to address child hunger, which is more prevalent in communities during the summertime. Made possible by a 15 month, $7.1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, the Y is better able to reach kids in need. The Summer Food Program is part of the Y’s year-round effort to address child hunger; during the school year, the Y’s Afterschool Meal Program provides a combination of learning activities and healthy meals and/or snacks at the end of the school day.

Leanne Brown’s best-selling cookbook Good and Cheap provides an avenue to healthy and affordable meals by educating readers on how to prepare nutritious recipes to eat on $4/day—the average amount of money a person receives from the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Brown’s understanding of the need to provide nourishment and access to food to those who need it most makes her a powerful partner to help raise awareness for the Summer Food Program.

“We are thrilled to partner with Leanne Brown for our Summer Food Program this year,” said Stacey McDaniel, National Spokesperson for the Anti-hunger Initiative at Y-USA. “Leanne’s dedication to resolving the food crisis in America makes her a natural fit for a partner with our organization. Together we will promote awareness for the imminent danger of child hunger in America and work to educate communities across the U.S. about solutions to this problem.”

As part of the partnership, McDaniel, together with Brown will visit multiple Y locations across the U.S. to share insights about the program and ways to shop for healthy foods, prepare basic dishes on a limited food budget, and utilize what people may already have in their pantries to make wholesome meals.

Y locations include:

  • YMCA of Greater Boston
  • YMCA of Greater Rochester
  • YMCA of Middle Tennessee
  • YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

The Y is committed to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility and is working to ensure all kids have access to nutritious meals. Available in nearly 1,900 locations nationwide, the goal of the program is to keep children healthy, active and well-nourished all summer long.

Members of the community living in the vicinity of each of the Y locations listed above are encouraged to contact their local Y to learn more about these visits and to become involved. To learn more about the Y’s Summer Food Program, visit

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

About Good and Cheap

GOOD AND CHEAP: EAT WELL ON $4/DAY, by Leanne Brown, is a cookbook like no other, demonstrating why kitchen skill, not budget, is the key to great food. GOOD AND CHEAP is not a challenge to live on so little—it’s a resource for those who face this reality, or anyone in need of stretching a tight budget. In addition to sharing tasty, nutritious recipes that maximize every ingredient and use economical cooking methods, Brown gives tips on shopping, setting up a basic pantry, mastering staples, and even repurposing last night’s dinner. GOOD AND CHEAP is more than a book of recipes. It is a book of ideas, made to prove that cooking has a powerfully positive effect.

Contact:  Emily Waldren YMCA of the USA  312-419-8756

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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