September is Hunger Action Monthhunger action

Every September, YMCAs across the country bring awareness to food disparities; partner with organizations; and elevate outreach work -- all aimed at feeding at-risk families and children. 

Food insecurity rates in the U.S. show disparities that cross racial lines. The effects of hunger exacerbate economic and health inequities. In fact, children who went hungry at least once in their lives were 2.5 times more likely to have poor overall health 10-15 years later, compared to those who didn't go without food. According to data from Feeding America, 50% of children facing hunger will need to repeat a grade. 

Test your  knowledge!

While you may associate our YMCAs with common programs like wellness, personal training, classes, child watch, youth sports, summer camps, fitness centers, and swim lessons, what you may not know is that the Y feeds kids each and every day!  That's right. Thanks to amazing partnerships, grants, volunteers, donors, and dedicated staff, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga has been making large footprints in our communities to support those facing hunger. 

  • Chattanooga Mobile Market
    • Operated by the J.A. Henry Community YMCA, Mobile Market provides healthy food accessibility to food deserts in the Chattanooga area. The Mobile Market truck visits a variety of neighborhoods each week. In 2021, Mobile Market served more than 200 shoppers per week across 12 weekly stops. 
  • Bingo's Market
    • Operated by the J.A. Henry Community YMCA, Bingo's Market is a Healthy Corner Store, located inside Patten Towers in Downtown Chattanooga. The market strives to add healthy and affordable food options such as produce, household essentials, grab & go meals, coffee and community space. 
  • Backpack Blessings
    • Operated out of the North Georgia Community YMCA, this program provides nutritious, non-perishable food items to students every Friday to reduce weekend hunger. Backpack Blessings prepared 20,186 weekend meals during the 2021-22 year. 
  • Youth Food Programs
    • During 2021, an estimated 575,532 healthy meals were prepared and served across 80 sites in Chattanooga, Cleveland and North Georgia. The meals are free to children 1-18 years old.

This Hunger Action Month, help us ensure all families have the healthy, nutritious food they need to thrive. Learn more about the Y’s hunger relief efforts and how you can support this essential work.

How to get involved:

  • Volunteer! Individuals, families, church groups, organized teams and other groups are needed throughout the year!
  • Donate.
  • Spread Awareness. As you know, the Y is so much more than a facility that offers wellness programs and gym services. Our YMCAs, along with all Ys across the nation, seek diligently to address community needs and assist in providing programs and services that build a healthier community for ALL.
  • For more information, click on any of the program links above or contact your local Y.