Combating Hunger and Food Insecurity

Statistics show that one in six children in the United States and nearly 13 percent of people who live in Erie County struggle with food insecurity, meaning families often times don’t know where their next healthy meal will come from. YMCA Buffalo Niagara believes all people should have access to nutritious food, which is why we’re helping to fight hunger and end food insecurity in Western New York through the Saturday Lunch Program at the William-Emslie Family YMCA.

The Saturday Lunch Program is a weekly opportunity for individuals and families to enjoy a healthy, plentiful meal together and socialize with others without worrying about how much it will cost. In 2019 the William-Emslie Family YMCA served more than 4,360 meals, the majority of which going to children under the age of 18.

Community members say they are grateful for the support this program provides. “Feeding a family of five can really strain the budget so any time we can get a hand for even one meal really helps,” says Patricia Peters.

“The Saturday Lunch Program is extremely beneficial to my family because we feel welcomed and loved within our community. It also helps with my financial situation because we are in need of help,” says Raquel Gibson.

At the Y, we believe everyone should have access to healthy, affordable food. We are committed to ending food insecurity in our community and will continue to do our part to ensure all people have the opportunity to grow strong in body, mind, and spirit.