Mission and Goals:
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) is to inspire and enable youth ages 6 to 18 to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Our goal is that all members are on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. Your donation will support the purchase of needed kitchen equipment and appliances to help us provide over 800 kids per day hot and healthy meals, teach youth healthy eating habits, healthy cooking and nutrition, and develop the skills they need to become healthy and productive adults.
For nearly 50 years, BGCSTL has been providing after-school, teen, sports and summer programs to youth in the St. Louis area while also providing a safe place for children to learn and grow. Our vision is that every child who joins the Club graduates with a plan for the future. BGCSTL serves youth across six Clubs in St. Louis City and County, within five other elementary schools through our Mentor St. Louis program (a mentoring program which serves students in five St. Louis Public Schools); and, in Normandy and Roosevelt High Schools through our BE GREAT: Graduate program keeping students on track to graduate.
We offer nationally recognized programs developed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help youth practice good character and citizenship, lead healthy lifestyles and achieve academic success. The Club provides more than 20 engaging programs and services in five core program areas: Character & Leadership Development; Education & Career Development; Health & Life Skills; Sports, Fitness & Recreation; and the Arts. Club members can participate in homework help, college and career readiness, leadership clubs, substance abuse prevention, sports, arts and more.
Ensuring youth practice healthy lifestyles is one of our priority outcomes for Club members. Our Club kitchens provide hot and healthy meals and snacks along with cooking classes for youth to develop healthy eating habits. These important programs and services need your support.
BGCSTL’s Kitchen Needs:
BGCSTL provides the Healthy Habits program to reduce child obesity and promote healthy lifestyles for youth ages 6 to 18 by increasing their knowledge of healthy habits and good nutrition. The program includes structured classes on good nutrition and healthy cooking for over 800 youth per day at all of our six Club sites. In our Club kitchens, youth learn to cook healthy meals and develop healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.
All Club members also receive healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and crackers, three times per day during our eight-week summer camp and also receive a hot and healthy meal during after school programming. Year to date, nearly 19,000 snacks and 24,000 meals have been served to members across all six Clubs.
Our kitchen appliances are important to teaching youth how to prepare healthy meals, and to provide them with hot and healthy meals each day. We have an ambitious goal to raise $10,000 for new kitchen appliances and equipment to help St. Louis develop healthy nutrition habits, and we need your help.
Your donation will help us replace much needed refrigerators and stoves at six BGCSTL Club sites so we can continue providing healthy meals and snacks to youth, as well as nutrition education and cooking classes for our Club members.
Many of our Club members come from under-resourced neighborhoods of St. Louis. They may face lack of income for basic needs, family instability, exposure to violence and drug use, and difficult access to health care. As of 2014, 97% of Club members are African American and 61% qualify for the Federal free or reduced price lunch program. According to the recent study “For the Sake of All,” African Americans in St. Louis are more likely to experience chronic disease and other health conditions, as well as risk factors for disease such as obesity and high blood pressure. The study also found that lack of resources in African American neighborhoods makes it more difficult to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors like physical activity and eating a healthy diet, such as perceptions of neighborhood safety and lack of convenient access to healthy foods. Our cooking classes and healthy snacks and meals help youth surpass these statistics and develop healthy eating habits.
Donate today so we can continue providing hot and healthy meals and cooking classes for our youth by completing much needed updates to our kitchen appliances.
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