Serving Hillsborough County and Zephyrhills
Since 1889, the Tampa YMCA has been responding to critical social needs and positively impacting the lives of children, adults and families across Hillsborough and East Pasco counties. Focused on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the Tampa Y strengthens the community by empowering kids to succeed in school and in life, helping community members get healthier, developing leadership skills in teens and water safety skills.
The Veggie Van
The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA’s Veggie Van – A Mobile Market Place – meets the needs of individuals and families living in underserved areas of Hillsborough and East Pasco counties. Through the Veggie Van, the Y distributes fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables into targeted communities, which are labeled food deserts. A food desert is defined as an urban neighborhood without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.
The Y’s Veggie Van stops in the communities of Tampa Heights, Sulphur Springs, Plant City, Dover, TGH Healthpark in Tampa, Wimauma and Lacoochee in Pasco County. For the low cost of $4/month, participants can join the Veggie Van and select their own fresh produce to fill two bags each month. Community food distributions take place the first and third weeks on every month. Veggie Van members can select fruits and veggies for their two monthly produce bags at any time during one of the stops.
The Veggie Van’s goal is to improve the overall well-being of participants and their families. In addition to providing produce, staff and volunteers deliver food demonstrations and healthy living tips. Working with families to improve food preparation, cooking and exercise habits helps minimize the risk of obesity, chronic disease and high blood pressure.
The Veggie Van is generously supported by: Publix Charities, Bank of America, Joy McCann Foundation, Tampa General Hospital, The Saunders Foundation and Interfaith Social Action Council of Sun City Center. For more information, contact Elizabeth.Roman@tampaymca.org.
CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP
Y Teen Achievers: A career and college readiness program supporting more than 450 academically, socially and/or financially at-risk middle and high school students to help them raise their academic standards, develop a positive sense of self, build character, explore diverse college and career options, and interact with professional role models.
Before and After School Enrichment (BASE): Trained and experienced staff engage students in project-based learning with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), cultural arts and service learning. Children also participate in an evidence-based physical fitness and health curriculum which includes free healthy snacks. BASE is conveniently offered at 25 public elementary schools and 4 Y facilities.
Community Learning Center (CLC): Year-round intensive academic programming that allows K-8th graders inside Sulphur Springs K-8 Community School to develop new interests and skills. In addition to tutoring sessions, self-guided academic curriculum centers and field trips, the CLC also engages parents and families in a meaningful way through events, conferences and volunteer opportunities.
YMCA READS!: A literacy and mentoring initiative which targets low-income K-3rd graders to address phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and text-to-life connections.
Early Head Start: A safe and developmentally enriching program for low-income families, including pregnant women and children under three, to promote their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. As a delegate agency of the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners, the Y’s Early Head Start program provides services to more than 120 children in 17 family childcare homes.
Y Summer Camp: Fun and unique experiences that give children and teens the opportunity to explore the outdoors, meet new friends and discover new interests. By integrating academic components into the summer curriculum, the Y ensures campers are learning about nature, cooking, math and more while having fun.
Stay & Play Centers: When members check in their kids, as young as six weeks old, while they utilize Y family facilities, the Y cares for the total child, ensuring they leave with every day tools to prepare them for learning and succeeding in a school environment.
Teen Leaders’ Club: A program focused on leadership development, community service and physical fitness where students in grades 7 - 12 develop their leadership skills and make an impact in their community by using their ideas, strengths and interests.
Youth In Government: A youth-run, youth-led model government process designed to prepare students for engaged and active citizenship built on the values of civil debate, statesmanship and research-based policy solutions.
PREVENTING AND MANAGING CHRONIC DISEASES
Veggie Van – A Mobile Market Place: A groundbreaking initiative distributing fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables into targeted communities with a demonstrated need, to minimize the risk of obesity, chronic disease and high blood pressure.
Out-of-School Meals: In partnership with Hillsborough County Public Schools, this donated service is open to the community and serves free healthy meals and nutritious snacks over the summer to help kids stay well-nourished, active and energized - while also providing some relief to families who need support. During the school year, the same school partnership allows the Tampa Y to either serve dinner or super snacks at high need afterschool sites. The high-need Sulphur Springs YMCA provides every student a “weekend backpack” filled with food to sustain the child for the weekend.
LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA: A free 12-week program providing cancer survivors and their families a safe, supportive environment where they participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person.
Pediatric Cancer Program: Modeled after LIVESTRONG at the YMCA, this free 12 week program caters to children before, during and after cancer treatment. The goal is to improve strength, endurance, flexibility and hand-eye coordination after cancer treatments. Immediate family members also receive a Y membership during the length of the program.
Fit and Fun: In partnership with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, this curriculum-based health and wellness program for Y afterschoolers teaches and encourages a healthy lifestyle while having fun. Parents can also receive free CPR/AED/First Aid training to help keep kids healthier and safer.
Y Diabetes Prevention Program: A yearlong program providing a supportive environment with trained lifestyle coaches to help those at risk to develop a healthier lifestyle and reduce the health risks type two diabetes.
Pedaling for Parkinson’s: A free 8-week clinically prove program for Parkinson’s disease patients to participate in fast-paced cycling classes to help ease and slow symptoms and disease progression.
Enhance®Fitness: A proven community-based senior fitness and falls prevention program. The free national physical activity program helps older adults become more active, energized and empowered for independent living. It’s also deemed particularly safe and effective for older adults living with arthritis by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.
SilverSneakers™: A fun, energizing program to help older adults prevent chronic diseases and take greater control of their health through customized exercise classes, health education seminars and other social events.
Y WEIGHT: A free 8-week weight loss program that includes nutrition education and wellness coaching to give members the chance to try new fitness classes, set goals and learn to live a healthier lifestyle.
Sulphur Springs Neighborhood of Promise: A long-term community initiative in one of Tampa’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, modeled after the work of Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone, to have collective impact on low-income kids and families in the underserved neighborhood. As a founding partner, the Y collaborates with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, United Way Suncoast, Champions for Children, Early Learning Coalition, Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County Public Schools, City of Tampa, Sulphur Springs Neighborhood Association and others to create a pipeline to success that begins at birth and spans through high school graduation, preparing children for college or careers. Along the pipeline, families and kids can access a host of programs that help them achieve their academic goals and improve their overall health.
Volunteerism: Thousands of business leaders, community advocates, parents, teens and individuals who want to give back and support their neighbors volunteer at the Y. That’s because the Y has the presence and community partnerships to deliver positive personal and social change. Y volunteers lead our governance and advisory boards, raise campaign dollars year-round, coach youth sports teams, tutor students during out-of-school time, deliver fresh produce to under-resourced neighborhoods, keep our community clean, advocate for the Y’s mission and more.
Safety Around Water: Free water safety lessons offered to the entire community at all Tampa Y family facilities three times a year, including during the school district’s Spring Break.
Mobile Swim Lessons: Through a Tampa Y partnership with the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, the “Be Water Smart from the Start” initiative provides free water safety lessons to kids in their own apartment complex and neighborhood pools.
Head Start Swim Lessons: In collaboration with Hillsborough County, 1,000 underserved youth receive eight free swim lessons at Tampa Y facilities in addition to classroom-based water safety education each spring.
Free/Subsidized Swim Lessons: Ongoing collaborations with the Tampa Housing Authority, Boys & Girls Club, University Area Community Development Center and other agencies to provide free summer swim lessons to kids from low-income households.