On Saturday, June 21, 2014, the YMCA of Austin celebrated a $37,730 grant provided by the Walmart Foundation that enables the YMCA to offer free nutrition education to underserved communities in the Austin area. With these funds, the Y will impact the health and eating habits of about 300 individuals and their families this year through The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre classes.
The YMCA kicked off the program with a check presentation from John Moore, a local Walmart manager and representative for the Walmart Foundation. It was a family-friendly event held in the Community Garden with cooking demonstrations, seed packet giveaways, garden tours and a bouncy house. The North Austin YMCA held its first The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre class before the presentation and attended the celebration.
The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre is a nationally recognized six-week cooking and nutrition education program from the Sustainable Food Center. The classes emphasize the importance of selecting and preparing nutritious meals. Through this program, the YMCA of Austin is addressing the issues of diabetes, chronic disease and childhood obesity at an earlier stage, helping create healthy, sustainable lifestyles.
The Y plans to deliver the Walmart Foundation grant funded programming to individuals in underserved communities throughout Travis, Bastrop and Hays counties. Classes meet once a week for 1 ½ hours to cook, discuss and learn as a group. The goal for the program is to positively affect changes in eating habits of adults and children.
'With the grant, expenses will be covered for 20 classes, and we will be able to expand the program and serve an additional 300 people in the next 12 months,' said Ron Perry, Associate Executive Director at Northwest Family Y and The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre program director.
The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre classes will continue through the year at multiple Y locations. Four sessions will be delivered at North Austin and East Communities YMCAs. Two sessions will be held at Northwest Family, TownLake, Southwest Family, Springs Family, Hays Communities and Bastrop YMCAs.
The YMCA of Austin is dedicated to nurturing the physical and mental well-being for community members of all ages. Through the Y, individuals and families can gain healthy habits that will last for a lifetime. For more information about The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre or healthy living classes, please contact Ron Perry at 512-632-6785 or Ron.firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the YMCA of Austin
The YMCA of Austin is a nonprofit organization that has served the Austin community since 1953, providing health and wellness, aquatics, youth sports, day camp, childcare, youth leadership and family enrichment opportunities for more than 64,000 members and 60,000 program participants. More information on the YMCA of Austin is available at AustinYMCA.org. (more...)
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