The Walmart Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of America together are serving 3,000+ Native Club youth across America, providing an estimated 468,000 healthy meals and 561,600 pounds of food in 2022. Over the last five years, this collaboration has worked to meet food security needs through nutritional meal programs at Boys & Girls Clubs on Native lands, as well as support healthy lifestyles for youth via nutrition resources and programming.
When young people are fed and can rely on their next meal, they’re better able to focus on their studies, connect with their peers and build skills that support their overall success. Access to nutritious food and learning how food fuels the body supports kids and teens in adopting healthy habits for life.
However, research shows that 23% of Native youth do not have adequate access to food – nearly twice the rate of our nation’s general population. High rates of food insecurity, poverty and a lack of access to food with high nutritional value have created limited options and growing health concerns for young people in Indian Country.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America has worked with Clubs on Native lands for 30 years, creating customized programming to support the needs of each local tribal community. The Walmart Foundation’s partnership provides critical healthy meals and nutritional programming, while deepening the existing rich culture of food in Native communities.
“The Walmart Foundation is pleased to support Boys & Girls Clubs of America,” said Karrie Denniston, Walmart Foundation Senior Director for Sustainability. “As part of our commitment to providing nutrition education to 3,000+ native youth over five years, this program will help support Native youth in living healthy lifestyles and exploring healthy food.”
Five years Walmart Foundation's food access program supporting Boys & Girls Clubs youth and families on Native Lands. To date, this work has served over 1M meals and more than 300,000 youth on 50 participating Clubs, including American Samoa.
Through this partnership, 50 Clubs on Native lands are given resources and hands-on support to create a healthy Club environment as well as training to educate Club kids and teens on healthy eating habits to support their overall wellbeing and encourage their nutritional awareness throughout adulthood, to be passed on to the next generation. Youth at these Clubs learn about food selection and preparation from a health perspective and within a cultural context, focusing on traditional foods that are indigenous to the community like corn, berries, beans, fish and elk. The program also engages the tribal community through social events, like potluck dinners, where Club members can prepare healthy dishes for fellow neighbors, friends and family.
“Parents and youth alike look forward to the backpack program each week. They know that we will be giving them easy to fix meals, snacks and drinks and they won't have to worry about being hungry while out of school.”
- Laura Kuykendall, Boys & Girls Club of Sequoyah County
“Our youth and their families are loving our traditional meals thanks to this awesome grant!! Our menu has consisted of our traditional soups: Samp and Succotash, and dishes which included: goose, duck, venison, turkey, and that was only for February! Giving our youth the opportunity to taste traditional foods or traditional ingredients that they don't normally get to try is something that is crucial to the survival of these recipes! Thank you, Walmart Foundation!!”
- Dyashwa Sylvester, Boys & Girls Club of Shinnecock Nation
“We're glad to have this program again for our kids. One of the biggest successes we are having is with our traditional Samoan foods. Once a week, we are cooking a traditional dish and also rotating in Club Members to teach them how to make it- right down to husking coconuts, making coconut milk, and harvesting crops (i.e. taro, breadfruit). Our Club Members are enjoying being able to learn and also taste their creations.”
- Puataunofo Tulafono, Boys & Girls Clubs of American Samoa
“For many of our families, the evening meal that we provide is the difference between sanity and chaos. Many of our parents have shared with us that the time from when they get off work until they pick up the children can be one of the busiest parts of their day. Errands to run, groceries to buy or just taking a short walk to decompress from the day are things that help them to have sanity. Because the Club provides an evening meal, many of our parents are able to take care of the details of life without the worry about how quick they can feed their kids or the dread of trying to drag their kids through a store. One mom told me, ‘It is so nice to have the extra time to get my stuff done, so I am ready to focus on being a mom when I come get my kids.’ That makes a huge difference in the health and well-being of kids and families.”
- Aric Cooksley, Boys & Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County
Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the largest Native youth service provider in the nation, with more than 200 Clubs reaching 120,000+ Native youth in American Indian, Alaska Native, American Samoan and Hawaiian tribal communities per year. Native Clubs prioritize the well-being of youth, families, communities and staff through culture, life-enhancing programs and mentorship that fosters resiliency for Native young people and meets the needs of the community.
The Walmart Foundation represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, The Walmart Foundation works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2.2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. The Walmart Foundation is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.
Through partnering with Samsung, we expanded access to the DIY STEM program and developed the Climate Superstars Challenge. The DIY STEM program serves as the entry-point for all members' STEM learning experience at Clubs and provides youth exposure to STEM through five modules: Energy and Electricity, Engineering Design, Food Chemistry, Aeronautics and the Science of Sports: Football. Climate Superstars aims to encourage youth to raise awareness about climate change and motivate them to take actions that help protect the environment.
Samsung's partnership enables interactive, hands-on learning while providing students with new perspectives on STEM careers and access to the latest technology. In addition, our partnership with Samsung goes beyond our programs and includes cause marketing initiatives that help promote awareness and drive donations for the organization. Through exclusive access to unique experiences such as the Las Vegas Galaxy Studio pop-up with singer Kelly Rowland and music producer and artist DJ Marshmello and a Winter Wonderland video production featuring YouTube star Casey Neistat, Samsung helps expand their understanding of STEM and encourages them to be the next generation of creators and innovators.
Samsung puts cutting edge technologies in the hands of underserved youth at Clubs across the country who otherwise wouldn't have access. Through state-of-the-art Tween Tech Centers outfitted with the latest technologies, including laptops, tablets, and more, Samsung has helped modernize the learning spaces at Boys & Girls Clubs. Samsung has put cutting-edge technologies in the hands of underserved youth at Clubs across the country who otherwise may not have access. Through state-of-the-art Tween Tech Centers outfitted with tablets, laptops and the latest technologies, Samsung has helped modernize the learning spaces at Boys & Girls Clubs.
The partnership has also equipped our Youth Development Professionals with essential technology and resources to implement the DIY STEM curriculum with fidelity at Clubs across the country and on military installations around the world. BGCA is proud to have Samsung as a partner in STEM education and environmental sustainability.
About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA) is a recognized innovative leader in consumer electronics, mobile devices and enterprise solutions. A wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., SEA is pushing beyond the limits of today's technology and providing consumers and organizations with a portfolio of groundbreaking products in appliances, home entertainment, Internet of Things, mobile computing, smartphones, virtual reality, wireless infrastructure and wearables, in addition to offering leading content and services related to mobile payments, 360-degree VR video, customer support and more. Samsung is a pioneering leader in smartphones and HDTVs in the U.S. and one of America's fastest growing home appliance brands. To discover more about Samsung, please visit www.samsung.com. For the latest Samsung news, please visit news.samsung.com/us and follow us @SamsungNewsUS.
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