CINCINNATI — A Saturday lunch program may help ease the minds of parents who don't always have the resources to feed their children three meals a day. The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati and the Walmart Foundation are partnering up to launch a weekend food program in the West End.
The Carl H. Lindner YMCA, located at 1425B Linn St., will begin offering a free Saturday lunch to children in February.
Paula Sherman, executive director at the Linn Street location, said addressing food insecurities "has always been a priority" for the YMCA and West End partners.
"Having a free weekend lunch program, together with other pantry programs, not only provides the nutrition children need for healthy development, but it helps to ensure that children will have food over the weekend and return to school on Monday ready to learn," Sherman said in a news release.
About 50 children are fed every Saturday through a similar program started at the Gamble-Nippert YMCA in Westwood last year.
"We provide meals to the children in our preschool and school-age programs through the week, but having the free lunch program on Saturdays for kids makes a real difference for the families in our community," said YMCA Group Vice President Sara Overstake.
About 22 percent of children in Ohio live with food insecurity, according to Feeding America. Children who don't have access to safe and nutritious meals may experience language and developmental issues, a Feeding America report concluded.
For information on the Saturday lunch program at the Carl H. Lindner YMCA, call 513-241-9622. For information on the Saturday lunch program at the Gamble Nippert YMCA, call 513-661-1105.