The YMCA operates preschool and child care programs at 9 locations across Kelowna and West Kelowna and serves over 540 children a day. With one in four children relying on the Y’s financial assistance program to register in child care, their families also struggle to afford nutritious food or put regular meals on the table. Sadly, many kids in our programs come to us hungry.
Current statistics are astounding.
- The 2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card cited that the Kelowna Central Metropolitan area had three census tracts with child poverty rates between 30% and 40% — West Kelowna had the highest.
- 15 million children in Canada are living in homes that experience food insecurity.
- Economic inequality in the Okanagan – the gap between the haves and the have-nots – continues to increase.
- Living in poverty is linked to an increase in health-related issues in children, including poor nutrition, obesity, behavioural and emotional problems, and low academic achievement.
- Both obesity and diabetes rates have increased every year in the Okanagan since 2013.
Donors are making a difference by:
- Providing over 100,000 healthy snacks—fresh fruits & vegetables and protein—each year!
- Helping children start their morning the best way possible in our Before School Care program by ensuring those who are hungry are fed breakfast before starting their day.
- Giving every child in our afterschool program a healthy snack. For many this may be their only nutritious meal of the day.