A Kid’s Summer: Eat and Stay Safe This Season

Originally posted by Michigan Chronical

COVID-19 is practically in the rearview mirror and with rates steadily declining and summer in full swing, it’s time to get the children outside and to play safely.

The YMCA is offering children and youth several activities this summer with free programs, camps and activities.

Latitia McCree, senior vice-president, Communications and Marketing, YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, told The Michigan Chronicle that all are welcome to join in the festivities, along with low-cost rates.

“We [offer] traditional association-wide memberships for the entire family for only $86 monthly,” McCree said. “This gives families access to all seven locations and discounts on all other Y services. We even have discounted rates for military families.”

She added that families can also join the YMCA and enjoy a family swim and gym time all year.

“Households of two or more with a total income of $49,000 or less annually, may qualify for our Y for All income-based membership of $39 a month per family. Income must be verified to qualify.

“Yes, there are lots of activities for children to enjoy at the YMCA this summer,” McCree said.

Contact YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit facilities for more information or visit https://ymcadetroit.org/detroit-ymca-locations/.

Organizations are also offering some free programs. See below for interesting ideas for summer fun

1. Sportport

2. Summer Programs with DPS

3. Detroit Parks and Rec Summer Camps:
Greater Christ Baptist Church
St. Stephen’s AME
St. Suzanne Cody Rouge

Gleaners Community Food Bank recently launched a summer food program to provide a “Hunger Free Summer” for local children.

The organization announced in mid-June the launch of its Summer Food Service Program, with many summer distribution sites beginning June 21. The program will complement Gleaners’ food distribution programs through its more than 660-member partner network, emergency food distribution sites and emergency food box delivery programs to meet the need in the community.

“Summer has always been a difficult time for families and children facing hunger, and last summer we saw some of the greatest community need we have ever seen in Southeast Michigan,” said Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners. “While there are new signs for hope, far too many children and families in our community will not be hunger-free this summer without our help. Gleaners is dedicated to being a stabilizing resource for kids in need.”

This year’s Summer Food Service Program will use multiple distribution models to meet the needs of children 18 years or younger across Southeast Michigan.

Grocery sites: 22 sites provide fresh milk, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and shelf-stable items to supply enough food for children to have multiple breakfasts and lunches prepared by their families in their own homes. Groceries are provided in a drive-thru set-up.

Meal sites: 42 sites will be offered in two formats: providing take-home or onsite nutritionally balanced, pre-prepared breakfasts and/or lunches. The take-home model allows families with children to pick up the prepared meals once a week, using a drive-thru set-up. Onsite meals are provided while children are engaged in scheduled programming (such as summer camps or daycare facilities) at each site, with safety protocols in place.

Mobile Delivery sites: 24 sites will provide families with breakfast and lunch five days a week, delivered by refrigerated truck at pre-scheduled times to low-income housing neighborhoods. Parents or siblings can pick up the daily meals from the trucks for children in the household.

“We are proud to participate in the summer food … program this year to make sure kids are fed throughout the summer,” Stacy Averill, Gleaners’ vice president of community giving and public relations, said. “[It is] extremely important to us as an organization.”

She added that many of the hundreds of thousands of kids in the metro Detroit area rely on free or reduced lunches at school. Now with school not in session, the organization is helping make up the difference.

“We know families struggle, especially this past year has been so hard for households,” Averill said. “We say [children] and hunger should never go together. [They] should never worry about food. These distributions … make sure kids have access.”

To support Gleaners’ summer food distributions, you can donate to the Hunger Free Summer Plus campaign in which all donations are matched by Citizens Bank, Toni Wisne Sabina Foundation, GM, Ford, Mandell, Madeleine Berman Foundation and other generous donors. Donations can be made securely online at www.hungerfreesummer.org or by mail to Gleaners Community Food Bank (P.O. Box 44050, Detroit, MI 48244-0050). Checks should include “Hunger Free Summer” on the memo line to ensure the donation is matched. To find out more about the program, go to Gleaners Community Food Bank | (gcfb.org).