As food prices continue to rise above historical-average rates, the demand for food in Kansas City remains high. Several local agencies, including the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, continue to address food insecurity everyday, going above and beyond to keep our neighbors nourished.
In June, we had the opportunity to visit the Cleaver Family YMCA during their Mobile Food Distribution event. This monthly event rallies volunteers to help assist with their mobile food pantry that allows our neighbors to stay in their vehicles while volunteers load fresh produce, canned goods and a variety of other non-perishable items into their cars. During their June event, 9,619 pounds of food from Harvesters were distributed to 133 families and a total of 577 people.
In addition to their monthly Mobile Food Distribution, the Cleaver Family YMCA offers an onsite food pantry available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Their Kids Cafe provides free meals to youth aged 18 and under every Tuesday and Thursday evening. These resources are available to all community members at the Cleaver Family YMCA location, regardless of memberships. Additional information can be found on the YMCA website.
With the unwavering support of donors like you, grants totaling over $450,000 have supported a total of 35 nonprofit organizations on the front lines of fighting food insecurity in Greater Kansas City, an issue impacting 1 in every 10 people across the bi-state region. This funding is critical to ensuring neighbors in need can continue to access fresh meats, produce and culturally appropriate foods at pantries in their communities.
A new study from the Urban Institute finds 25-percent of American households are food insecure. Increased grocery costs have driven many to need charitable food donations, many for the first time in their lives. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted. This funding is critical to ensuring neighbors in need can continue to access fresh meats, produce, and culturally appropriate foods at pantries in their communities.
In the face of ongoing inflation and high grocery prices, Harvesters–The Community Food Network, a United Way Impact 100 Organization, shares the need for food assistance remains about 20% higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic began three years ago. In addition, the impact of higher food costs coupled with high demand have made it tougher to keep pantry shelves stocked.
This substantial investment includes the YMCA, empowering them to make a tangible difference in our community. Together, we are nourishing lives and building a stronger, more resilient Kansas City!