PHOENIX (October 2015) – Valley of the Sun YMCA announced that they have received a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support “Producing Healthy Futures ,” a program to help children and families incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets. “Producing Health Futures” will serve more than 1,300 low income youth who are enrolled in YMCA childcare programs and their families.

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, 38 percent of adults in Arizona consume fruit less than once daily and 21 percent consume vegetables less than once daily. The CDC also reports that 9 in 10 children do not eat enough vegetables, and 6 in 10 children do not eat enough fruit.

“With the help from the Walmart Foundation, we’re able to create healthier out-of-school environments and make a difference in children’s diets to impact their present and future health,” said Matt Sandoval, Vice President Community Initiatives, Valley of the Sun YMCA.

Over the next year, the grant will help the Valley of the Sun YMCA fully implement HEPA fruit/vegetable serving standards along with daily, age-appropriate activities and incentives to encourage children’s fruit and vegetable intake. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables will be served family-style at snack/meal times and will supplement USDA-sponsored meals/snacks already served in order to improve their nutritional quality. In addition, this grant will enable implementation of one 8-session family nutrition class (YMCA Family Fuel) at each site. This class will teach healthy eating strategies with an emphasis on increasing fruit/vegetable consumption within constraints of tight schedules and limited budgets.

Under its mission pillars of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, Valley of the Sun YMCA has been serving meals to children facing food insecurity for more than a decade, and served more than 100,000 meals and snacks in 2015.

About the Valley of the Sun YMCA

Valley of the Sun YMCA is one of the largest human service nonprofit organizations in Arizona. As the oldest nonprofit in the state, celebrating 122 years, the YMCA serves local communities in Maricopa County, Pinal County, Yuma, Flagstaff, and Prescott, offering more than 283 programs and 26 social services at its statewide locations.

Members are welcome regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity. Financial assistance is also available to those who qualify. The YMCA aims to provide each member with every opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit www.foundation.walmart.com.

YMCA locations involved for Summer 2016:

Tempe Family YMCA*

Chandler/Gilbert YMCA*

Glendale/Peoria YMCA*

Chris-Town YMCA*

Maryvale Family YMCA*

Copper Basin YMCA

East Valley YMCA

Northwest Valley YMCA*

Flagstaff Family YMCA

Yuma Family YMCA*

Lincoln*

Mesa Family YMCA

 *also school year sites.