Nutrition and active fun have a direct impact on a child’s capacity to achieve academically, develop life-long healthy habits, and make a successful transition to adulthood.

Chronic diseases are largely preventable, yet they remain the leading cause of premature death and illness in California, and the main source of increasing health costs in the United States according to the CDC.

At the Y, we believe healthy eating and active fun are key building blocks for a child's healthy future. Despite the overwhelming evidence showing a link between healthy eating and activity, and academic and health outcomes, we see kids moving in the wrong direction- towards unhealthy, junk food, rather than fresh whole foods, and towards activities that are sedentary- like computer based interests- rather than those that get kids moving. San Francisco's youth health indicator's show that kids aren't as active as they should be.  

The Y feeds thousands of youth in high-risk communities each week by leveraging USDA food programs. In the school year, this looks like 20,000 meals each month, and over the summer the reach is even greater- we serve over 30,000 meals to youth at camp!

The Y is uniquely positioned to promote health and well-being in the communities we serve, from targeted evidence-based chronic disease prevention and management programs to broad community wellness initiatives. As such, the Y is committed to becoming the region’s healthiest childcare and out-of-school-time provider, to put an end to the childhood obesity epidemic. We reach 10,000 youth each day, and we take a unique approach to programming with Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards. 

We train staff and teach parents about health environments and food choices,and kids learn through Food and Fun, an 11 unit, evidence-based curriculum offering hands on activities. The Y's standards Healthy Eating and Physical Activity are based, in part, on years of research done by the national YMCA of the USA, in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health, The University of Massachusetts at Boston, the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition, and more.

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