CHICAGO, Sept. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today YMCA of the USA (Y-USA), the resource office for the nation's 2,700 YMCAs, announced a $1.25 million grant from the Sam's Club Giving Program to expand healthy living opportunities in underserved communities. The funds will help Ys engage their communities in implementing programs and strategies that prevent chronic diseases, the nation's leading causes of death and disability.
"As a leading nonprofit dedicated to improving the nation's health, the Y strives to make the healthy choice the easy choice in the places where people live, work, learn and play," said Neil Nicoll, President and CEO of YMCA of the USA. "Unfortunately, some communities do not have access to healthy choices or programs that reduce risk for chronic disease. The Sam's Club Giving Program makes it possible for Ys to expand their efforts to ensure that every person in every community has the same opportunity to live a healthy life."
The grant will help Ys expand their Healthier Communities Initiatives to five additional communities to address health disparities among African American/Black and/or Hispanic/Latino individuals and families. In more than 250 neighborhoods nationwide, the Y's Healthier Community Initiatives has provided programs that make fresh food options accessible, helped create safe school passages for children, and worked with schools to improve access to physical activity for kids. Since its beginning, the Y's Healthier Communities Initiatives has helped more than 46 million people with more than 26,700 community-level changes to improve health and well-being.
The grant will also be used to support six new Ys in launching the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, which is part of the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program. The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. To date, the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program has helped participants at over 600 locations nationwide lose an average of 4.9% of body weight.
"The YMCA is a renowned champion for preventive health solutions, and we are thrilled the Sam's Club Giving Program could expand the Y's commitment to diabetes awareness across the country," said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam's Club Health and Wellness. "Sam's Club also recognizes the importance of preventive care, providing more than 5 million free health screenings to the communities we serve through monthly screening events and interactive Solohealth stations available in our clubs."
On September 14, Sam's Club welcomes communities to learn about diabetes prevention through free blood pressure, glucose and A1c blood tests (for known diabetics), hosted by more than 560 U.S. Sam's Club locations with a pharmacy.
Both the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program and Healthier Communities Initiatives are part of the Y's ongoing efforts to improve the nation's health by helping people live well, reduce their risk for disease and reclaim their health.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net
YMCA of the USA
SOURCE YMCA of the USA