Club kids eating cornbread

Celebrating five years of the Walmart Foundation’s support of Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country, providing ongoing access to food, nutrition education and cultural teachings.

One Million Meals: Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Walmart Foundation Celebrate Five Years of Food Access Program for Native Youth

This year, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has a lot to celebrate as we recognize 30 years serving youth on Native lands. Part of this legacy of service includes nutrition and meal programs that fuel today’s Native youth while recognizing the vital role food plays in Native American culture and heritage. 

Thanks to a five-year partnership with the Walmart Foundation, we’re also celebrating one million meals served to Native young people. This transformational partnership began with nutrition education and has expanded to include a healthy meal and snack program to feed Club members and their families. 

This program recognizes the food insecurity challenges many Indigenous communities face, particularly in rural areas, and helps Clubs support families by providing meals, education and strategic partnerships to keep kids fed and fueled from week to week. 


In the last five years, this national partnership has had a lasting impact – providing Native youth and families snacks and meals they can rely on:

  • Serving 50 total participating Clubs across the country, including American Samoa.
  • Across the past 5 years, we have served 1M meals, nearly 310,000 youth and over 1.2M pounds of food!
  • In 2022 alone, we served nearly 480,000 pounds of food, totaling over 400,000 meals and reaching more than 57,000 youth.
  • Many Clubs are offering 3 meals/day every day they are open, while the initial goal of this program was to provide up to 3 meals/day, 3 days/week.


Boys & Girls Club of Bay Mills youth harvesting fruits and vegetables from Club gardenBoys & Girls Club of Bay Mills youth harvesting fruits and vegetables from Club garden

Native people believe in the power of generations and food plays a significant role in Tribal heritage. The impact of this partnership is multigenerational, serving kids and their nuclear families today, with nutrition education and the passing on of traditions for generations to come.

Because of the multigenerational reach, this program has empowered Clubs to be pillars of their communities, as, in many cases, families and community members have come to rely on their local Clubs for this resource. 


Boys & Girls Club of Bay Mills youth maple syrup processing after tapping from nearby forestBoys & Girls Club of Bay Mills youth maple syrup processing after tapping from nearby forest

This food access program is an outcome-driven effort, inclusive of nutrition education. Over the course of the last few years, youth at these Clubs have learned:

  • Basic cooking techniques
  • Healthy food shopping
  • Working around resource constraints (especially given the obstacles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Leveraging and fostering relationships with the local community to create healthy meals for themselves and their families
  • Cultural traditions and processes unique to their Tribes

Boys & Girls Clubs of Coyote Valley youth enjoying lunchBoys & Girls Clubs of Coyote Valley youth enjoying lunch

The final emphasis of this programming is on securing sustainable local and federal food access relationships tailored to the community’s unique needs. Examples include USDA food provision programs such as the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Farmers to Families, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) as well as exploring emergency food plans, like existing relationships with local food banks.

The ultimate goal of this program is to create long-lasting adoption and independence in facilitation across these Native communities, supporting youth today and providing lasting impact for generations to come.





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