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Food Distribution

and Hunger Prevention

The Y is working to eliminate hunger in our community through mobile food distribution sites and other food programs throughout the metro. As the pandemic continues to affect employment and strain individuals and families, the programs address a growing need for those unsure where their next meal will come from.

The Y Takes on Food Insecurity

Mobile
Food Pantry

Woman holds box of tomatoes to give out at mobile food pantry

The Y is working to help ensure that our community has access to fresh, nutritious food through Mobile Pantry food distribution programs in partnership with Harvesters. As the pandemic continues to affect employment and strain individuals and families, the programs address a growing need for those unsure where their next meal will come from. 

Participants stay in their vehicles while volunteers load fresh produce, canned goods and a variety of other non-perishable items into their vehicles. All in need are welcome. 

Marketplace Outreach Pantry
in NKC

Photo of food at the North Kansas City YMCA food pantry, including healthy crackers, nuts and fresh fruits.

The Marketplace Outreach Pantry at the North Kansas City YMCA pantry offers fresh fruits and vegetables, plus other items that will vary from time to time such as grains, whole wheat pastas, beans, healthy drinks (including almond milk and 100% juices), healthy snacks (such as granola, energy bars and nuts), and healthy condiments (such as olive oil mayonnaise). As part of a new partnership with the Y, volunteers with Easterseals will staff the food pantry. 

  • North Kansas City YMCA - 1999 Iron Street, North Kansas City, MO 64116
    By appointment, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    For more information and to set up an appointment, contact the North Kansas City YMCA at 816.300.0531.

Feeding
Hungry Kids

Photo of youth eating healthy foods around a table

When the school day ends, many youth are at risk of going hungry, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Y works to ensure kids in need get access to healthy snacks and food during the school year and throughout the summer.

In 2020, the Y served more than 41,206 meals and 19,142 snacks to youth in the Ys before and after school programs, summer day camps, full-day programs providing support for virtual learners, and Head Start programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. 

Studies show that kids who are hungry don’t do as well in school, can’t focus and are more likely to have behavior problems. The meals and snacks meet a critical need by providing nourishment and setting kids up for success. 

North Kansas City YMCA
Urban Farm Planted by Humana

Garden beds and greenhouse at North Kansas City Urban Farm

To address food insecurity, the Y has partnered with Humana to open a .25 acre Urban Farm at the North Kansas City YMCA. The Urban Farm will provide fresh produce to the community through 10 raised beds, 20 orchard trees and a tunnel greenhouse.

In addition to Humana, the Urban Farm received funding from the American Heart Association and in-kind support from Kansas City Community Gardens, Stuppy Greenhouses, and Fry & Associates, Inc.

The Urban Farm made its initial harvest in Fall 2020, harvesting over 150 pounds of healthy, organic produce. Volunteers and associates will begin planting in March for a summer harvest to begin in May. Harvested food will be distributed to those in need in a variety of ways including supplying food to indoor and mobile food pantries at the North Kansas City YMCA, KC Healthy Kids Program, and other distribution points in the community.  

Future plans include increasing the number of garden beds from 10 to more than 50, planting an orchard for fresh fruit, expanding community education programs, helping other Y centers develop their own Urban Farms, and expanding gardening programs for seniors, youth, and families.

For more information on how you can get involved, call 816.300.0531 or email NKC@KansasCityYMCA.org.

Community
Gardens

Many Ys offer community gardens, and gardeners share their harvest with members and the community.

Platte County Community Garden

The community garden is made possible thanks to a collaboration among the Y, The  National, Platte County Parks and Recreation, The University of Missouri Extension Center and the Master Gardeners. It has 10-by-20-foot plots available to the community to rent.

All gardeners commit to donate a portion of their harvest to nearby food pantries, including St. Therese's Pantry in Parkville and Mimi's Pantry in Riverside. Each year, gardeners donate a total of 1,000 to 3,000 pounds of produce to benefit those in need.

To keep the garden going strong and provide resources to gardeners, the Master Gardeners cultivate two of the 34 plots as demonstration gardens, one of which is pollinator garden designed to attract pollinating insects and help increase the vegetable yield in the community garden. The Master Gardeners are maintain two apple trees, two peach trees, four blueberry bushes, blackberry bushes and a strawberry bed.

For more information, contact Platte County Community Center South at 816.505.2622.

Additional Info

Other Ys throughout the metro offer a variety of community garden opportunities. To learn more, contact your local Y.

Donate Now

Make a gift to eliminate hunger in our community. Your support of Y food programs will help youth, individuals, families and seniors who don't know where their next meal is coming from.