For youth who rely on school-provided lunch and snacks, summer can make accessing nutritious foods challenging. When you couple this with the fact that physical activity among children ages 6-9 drops an average of 53% during the summer, it’s evident that youth can experience a “summer slump” in terms of their health. Building Impact is partnering with two local organizations, Youth Enrichment Services (YES) and Daily Table, to create a unique project for our volunteers to help address this issue.Volunteers are helping to create and provide Nutrition and Hydration Kits for Boston youth, ages 6-13, attending the YES Summer Track and Field Program. This program is a part of YES’s year-round sports programming, all of which is free or reduced cost for Boston youth, the majority being youth of color and youth who live in low-to-moderate income households.
Each Nutrition and Hydration Kit includes summer fitness essentials, such as water bottles, protein bars, electrolyte powders, and running socks. Through our partnership with Daily Table, youth attending YES’s Summer Track and Field Program are also routinely provided a variety of fresh fruit. “YES always provides nutritious snacks to youth in our programs, but fresh fruit is challenging for us to source and store. The collaboration with Building Impact and Daily Table is a game changer and a great way to further teach kids how to eat healthy,” said Chris Cadogan, Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator at YES. “We are appreciative of the fruit deliveries, nutrition packs, and water bottles which keep the youth hydrated throughout our practices and track meets!” Combining nutritious produce and snacks with YES’s fun sports programming helps Boston youth get excited about building healthy habits.
Building Impact volunteers also have the opportunity to write an uplifting summer postcard to the recipient of their kit. We’ve seen some amazing notes to the youth already!
“I hope you have the most amazing experience this summer. I wish you courage, laughter, friendships, and most importantly FUN during your Track & Field Program!”
“Have a blast at Track & Field and remember that all you need is to try your best and be a great sport! One step at a time.”
“Always do your best, and remember your best is enough! Do not forget to have fun!”
While apples get eaten in a few minutes and running socks get well worn, words of encouragement can be carried forever.