In 2016, The Champlin Foundation awarded a generous grant to renovate the cafeteria in its Pawtucket Family YMCA branch. This cafeteria is essential to the Y’s Intern & Meal Program, which was created in direct response to food insecurity in Pawtucket and Central Falls.
The program was founded by staff who noticed following pick-up from after school programs, many parents were bringing their children to local fast food restaurants for a quick and inexpensive meal. With the institution of the Meal & Intern Program, the Family Y could be sure that every child in their care had a well-balanced meal available to them each night. In addition, the intern component means that these youth are served by older program participants, who learn the values of community and responsibility, as well as job skills that will benefit them throughout their life.
The Champlin funded renovations have made our cafeteria state of the art and have allowed us to streamline food preparation and increase service capacity. Currently, the Meal & Intern program serves 200-250 youth and 23 interns per night. This year with additional staff training and resources, we are hoping to further continue to expand the program.
We are so grateful for The Champlin Foundation’s support of the YMCA of Pawtucket and the generosity that has helped us to make amazing improvements to our facilities and better serve those in our community who need us.