Receiving their first Neighborhood Grant in 2016, for the Families Improving Together (FIT) for Health and Grocery Store Tour programs, the YMCA of Metro Dallas was awarded their third Neighborhood Grant in 2019 for the same initiative. FIT teaches children and parents how to exercise together, with 45-minute lessons on physical activity. Participants are then invited to join an immersive shopping experience, led by the YMCA’s Community Health team, where they’re taught how to read nutrition labels and to shop for healthy meals on a budget at their local Sprouts Farmers Market.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the FIT for Health and Grocery Store Tour programs have shifted online, with families moving through the curriculum, in English or Spanish, at their own pace. PowerPoint presentations are joined by audio instruction to create a well-rounded remote learning experience.
As an organization that’s focused on serving the community, the YMCA of Metro Dallas has continued innovating with its programs during the pandemic. This March, they began offering Emergency Child Care services for children of essential workers. From Monday through Friday, these children are invited to attend the YMCA’s enrichment camps, operating in six locations across Metro Dallas, where they receive quality education while maintaining proper social distancing. By the middle of May, more than 1,100 kids had already benefited from this program. Additionally, the YMCA of Metro Dallas has partnered with local food banks to arrange for food and fresh produce distribution, and they have coordinated with the American Red Cross to host numerous blood drives, both occurring at YMCA locations across the city.
Through their adaptations to the FIT for Health program, and their offering of emergency community services, the YMCA of Metro Dallas continues supporting their mission – of helping people build a healthier mind, body, and spirit – even during these unprecedented times. The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is proud to partner with the YMCA of Metro Dallas and to help provide impactful programming that will benefit the community now and long into the future.