Minneapolis, MN – YMCA of the North, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, is partnering with Loaves & Fishes and UnitedHealth Group to provide free, fresh food to families in the community to ensure youth have healthy meals during unprecedented pandemic.

The Y, Loaves & Fishes and UnitedHealth Group believe that supplying healthy fresh food is critical to supporting families in our communities to alleviate food insecurity and hunger. Together they combine the YMCA region-wide distribution network, Loaves & Fishes internationally recognized program, and UnitedHealth Group efforts to cover the more than $2 million in food costs and wages for the cafeteria employees preparing meals for people in the Greater Twin Cities. This program with the YMCA and Loaves & Fishes is part of a larger effort by UnitedHealth Group to provide healthy meals to those in need, in the Twin Cities, and around the country.

Families may pick up food from Noon – 2 p.m., Monday through Friday at most YMCAs and choose a meal package for a family of four including a protein, vegetables and other fresh food. Also, lunch bags with a sandwich, snacks and fruit are available. Anyone in the community may pick up food.  YMCA membership is not required. Supplies are limited. Please practice physical distancing when picking up food.

"Our phones have been ringing nonstop and we have identified that there is great need in cities where we really need to be,” said Cathy Maes, executive director at Loaves & Fishes. “Serving at the YMCA Twin Cities is a relationship that expands our reach and we could not be more grateful. Our goal has always been to serve those in need and together we are doing just that.”

“We are grateful to partner with Loaves & Fishes and UnitedHealth Group to ensure all of our families in our community have access to food during this very difficult time and no child goes hungry,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO of the YMCA of the North.

For more information on the YMCA food distribution locations, go to www.ymcamn.org/food-distribution.

The Y is committed to ensuring all in the community have the resources they need to navigate the impact coronavirus is having on people’s lives. For more information on the YMCA Community Response Hub, visit www.ymcamn.org/impact-summary. To support Y programs and services for youth, families, adults and seniors, visit Y Community Response Fund at www.ymcamn.org/give.

WHO: The YMCA of the North, Loaves & Fishes, and UnitedHealth Group

WHAT:  To ensure youth and their families have nutritious meals during the coronavirus crisis, the community can get free fresh food at select YMCA locations

WHERE: Front doorways of most YMCA of the North locations. See www.ymcamn.org/food-distribution for a full list of locations. 

WHEN: Noon – 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

About the YMCA of the North

The YMCA of the North is a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  Established 164 years ago, the Ys provide life-strengthening services across the greater Twin Cities metro region, southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities.  The 29 Y locations and program sites, eight overnight camps, 10 day camps, and more than 90 child care sites engage more than 370,000 men, women and children of all ages, incomes and backgrounds.  To learn more about the Y’s mission and work, visit www.ymcamn.org.

About Loaves & Fishes

Loaves and Fishes has been serving Minnesotans since 1982. Today, we provide thousands of meals daily via multi-faceted programming across the state: public dining with social service advocacy, student meals and snacks, street outreach, a free produce market, and The HUB – an affordable fresh food option for small community meal programs and nonprofits. To support our meal services, we source fresh produce creatively and operate an environmentally responsible rescue program that captures wasted food from partnering restaurants, school cafeterias and businesses. Our holistic recipe for success is predicated on the belief that food is medicine and a basic human right, serving just any kind of food to people in need is unsatisfactory as well as costly to individuals and communities, and proper nutrition opens the door to opportunity. 

About UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is a diversified health care company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at www.unitedhealthgroup.com or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.