Milton YMCA receives $15,000 grant from Conagra

Apr. 20—MILTON — The Greater Susquehanna YMCA, Milton Branch recently received a $15,000 grant from the Conagra Brands Foundation.

The money will go to fund the YMCA Sustainability Through Gardening, project Milton YMCA Executive Director Ron Marshall said.

"Food costs have risen remarkably in the post-COVID era of inflation and also due to the lack of resources," he said. "The Milton YMCA created a prep room to serve more children in the past and it's worked out well."

Project goals include continuing to provide food directly to communities in need, creating outdoor gardens and growing 50 percent of produce needed over the summer months, educating families on nutrition and gardening, feeding children after-school programs with multiple school districts and their activities making sure kids learn basic cooking and gardening skills and have access to a meal and increase meal service 33 percent over the next two years which will decrease food insecurities throughout our community, Marshall said.

"With this funding, we would like to create outdoor gardens, so we are able to grow fresh fruits and vegetables and to educate children and families to grow their own produce as well," Marshall said. "This would allow for a more sustainable food source for all involved."

Milton YMCA Child Care Director Maddie Masevicius said the staff at the facility was thankful for the grant.

"The Milton YMCA has a long-standing history of meeting the nutritional needs of our community," Masevicius said. "The Conagra grant will strengthen our resources and help us educate our youth to combat food insecurities this summer and into the future."

Marshall said the overall goal is to ensure that kids and families in the community can adequately meet their nutritional needs.

"The Milton YMCA staff continue to focus on educating them on fresh fruits and vegetables and how to properly prepare the food that may be readily available to them with no cost by growing their own food," he said.