The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities partners with Target to impact youth wellness through programs at Y and community locations across the metro. The goals of the program are to help educate underserved youth and families on making healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices and to provide training of the CATCH curriculum (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) so that Y team members help kids to develop healthy habits.

Because of Target’s support through a Wellness Grant, the Y has expanded HEPA standards (Healthy Eating and Physical Activity) to 1,440 underserved youth and their families in the Twin Cities. About 99 percent of the children, youth and families served live at or below the federal poverty level. Kids in the program learn and apply knowledge and techniques for healthy nutrition and eating practices, and they engage in more physical activity. The program bridges gaps, breaks down barriers and builds healthier kids and communities.

The YMCA Healthy Kids Initiative includes hands-on activities like Family Food nights, which include a demonstration and tasting of a meal, often using family favorites or a cultural meal and adapting certain ingredients to increase nutritional value. Each family then takes home a meal kit to prepare.

In addition, thirteen YMCA team members have been trained to educate other program staff on the CATCH curriculum and HEPA standards, resulting in more than 500 Y team members trained to deliver the CATCH curriculum.

Thanks to Target, the YMCA empowers kids to establish healthy habits early in life and engages families in nutrition and wellness, making our communities healthier and stronger.