Thanks to the Maytag® Feel Good Fridge program, this Club kid is fed, fueled and focused.
Boys & Girls Club staff can usually tell when a family is struggling to make ends meet. But when several Club kids started taking extra food bags at the Boys & Girls Club of Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, staff realized families were facing chronic food insecurity.
According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children experience food insecurity, and 13 million children in the U.S. aren’t getting enough to eat.
And at Boys & Girls Clubs, 60% of Club kids rely on free or reduced-price school lunches.
For Clubs located in a food desert, meaning residents have little to no access to healthy and affordable food options nearby, it’s even more critical that Club kids have dependable and healthy food sources.
The Boys & Girls Club of Mosholu Montefiore Community Center is located in the Bronx, New York, where the community has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the country. The Club’s Director of Youth Services, Tashan Dawkins, explained that food insecurity is one of the Club's biggest challenges when it comes to serving its 585 kids across three locations.
"Many parents lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and families continue to rely on food pantries and community resources to feed their families,” said Tashan. “Being able to provide our kids with access to nutritious food at all our locations helps ease that burden for Club kids and families.”
Tashan’s Club is one of the first 20 across the country that received a refrigerator and a grant to stock it with healthy, nutritious food as part of Maytag’s Feel Good Fridge program — with an additional 20 fridges to be placed in Clubs by the end of 2022. The program is designed to help Club kids and families access much-needed food whenever they need it.
For many young people, food insecurity evokes feelings of shame and sadness. But Tashan’s Club is normalizing conversations about having enough food to eat. Staff want kids to know it’s okay to tell someone if they’re hungry or don’t have enough food at home.
“At our Club, we talk about how we’re a family here, and families take care of each other. We want to know when our kids need extra help, especially regarding food," said Tashan. “We bag food from our refrigerators and leave it on the tables so kids can take whatever they want — no questions asked. We’re always looking out for our kids’ dignity.”
Kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Mosholu Montefiore Community Center are learning how to make better food choices so they can grow into healthy adults and achieve their potential.
For nearly 2 in 3 Boys & Girls Club kids, breakfast and lunch are something they only get at school. Many rely on their Club for nutritious snacks and meals, especially during the summer months. Your support can help fight the food insecurity many of these kids face each day so they can focus on their next great moment, not their next meal.