Southern District YMCA has received a $3,000 grant from Precor to support efforts to help children throughout Southern New Hampshire live healthier lives through the implementation of the Y’s Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in early childhood and afterschool programs. Adopting these standards is part of the Y’s commitment to first lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America to help curb childhood obesity.
“As a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y takes its responsibility seriously, by helping those most in need. YMCAs are one of the largest providers of before and afterschool programs in the nation. By adopting standards that will help our kids make better food and activity choices, we strive to be the healthiest.” -Kimberly Meyer, Director of Community Operations, Southern District YMCA
Southern District YMCA serves 650 children in 15 area school districts with before and after school programs every week. All before and after school programs are implementing the HEPA standards, which include:
- Establishing a minimum of expected physical activity for children of different ages enrolled in Y programs;
- Defining food and beverages offerings, including designating water as the primary beverage during snack times and offering fruits and vegetables as snack options;
- Limiting the amount of screen time (watching TV, playing video games, and using computers);
- Encouraging breastfeeding of infants in the Y’s care; and
- Committing Ys to conducting parent education to encourage healthy behaviors at home.
“Like the Y, Precor believes that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health, our neighbors, and our community. By collaborating, we have a greater potential to help more people make positive lifestyle choices.” -Paul Byrne, President, Precor
The Southern District YMCA is one of 50 YMCAs to receive a grant from Precor as part of the $300,000 gift to YMCA of the USA, the resource office for the nation’s YMCAs, to support the implementation of the HEPA standards in YMCA before and afterschool programs. Locally the funding will be used to support infrastructure opportunities such as purchasing supplies and equipment, and staff training that can help the YMCA to provide a healthy, sustainable environment in every before and afterschool site.