NOW Preschool Backpack Feeding Program

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How can a child focus on learning and discovering when he or she is trying to ignore the persistent pangs of hunger?

Good nutrition is so important for little ones going through the biggest physical and mental growth spurt of their lives. At Heart of the Valley YMCA Early Childhood Education Centers, nutritious meals and snacks are provided throughout the school day and approved by the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.

But on the weekends, some of our children from low-income households don’t have adequate food available at home that will fuel a robust appetite for learning and growing that doesn’t stop on Saturdays and Sundays. On Monday mornings, teachers are forced to compete against hunger for the attention of their students.

Heart of the Valley YMCA piloted NOW (Nutrition on Weekends), a Preschool Backpack Feeding Program in the YMCA Downtown Early Childhood Education Center in August 2013. Studies show that children learn better and achieve more when they are well-nourished. They are less likely to cause discipline problems. They are more likely to maintain a healthy bodyweight throughout their lifetimes.

Take-home food packages include healthy, single-serve items. You may purchase these single-serve items and drop off at any Y branch in Madison County.

Help us give these little ones the wholesome foods they need when they are away from our Y classrooms. A donation of $5 provides a weekend full of meals for one Preschool child. Click the button or this link to donate, and be sure to select “BackPack Program for Child Development Ctrs” under “Do you want your donation to be affiliated with a specific Campaign?”

Would your church group or civic club like to adopt a classroom? Ask us how you can provide nutritious foods and package them for our kids! Or, call Erin Ledet at 256.536.8131.