2016 Policy Priorities (Legislative Interests)
The YMCA is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through our focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. Missouri YMCAs are found in over 70 diverse communities around the state, and serve urban, suburban and rural communities, bringing together young and old, men and women, from all faiths, backgrounds and incomes.
Missouri’s YMCA’s serve over 450,000 Missourians as participants and members. Our YMCA’s employ over 10,000 Missourians and over 4.9million Missourians serve their communities by volunteering at the Y.
Our 2016 policy and advocacy priorities include supporting legislation, policy and systems changes and advocating for:
Youth Development: Nurture the potential of every child
- Provide coverage for childhood obesity prevention/treatment
- Improve requirements for daily physical activity required by school districts by including appropriate mandates for elementary, middle and high school aged children.
- Encourage childcare and school age providers to implement best practice healthy eating and physical activity policies. Missouri’s YMCAs hope to coordinate with partner agencies to improve childcare licensure regulations as related to core competencies for nutrition and exercise. Missouri’s YMCAs have promoted the implementation of the YMCAs HEPA (Healthy Eating Physical Activity) Standards which include the adoption of healthy vending requirements within all YMCAs and programs. In addition, Missouri’s YMCAs are working with partner agencies to ensure that healthy vending policies are implemented in all environments to which children are exposed.
Healthy Living: Improve communities’ well being
- Secure coverage for the prevention and intervention of diabetes through the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program.
- Expand access to healthy foods, especially in food insecure communities by supporting the development of the Double-Up Bucks program for SNAP recipients in Missouri.
- Improving Built environment policy and funding so that children and families can utilize their communities and neighborhoods for safe physical activity.
Social Responsibility: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors
- Develop a process for the aggregate collection and reporting of body composition data within the physical fitness reporting currently being done. This data collection would give Missouri a first ever baseline measurement.
- Support funding for childcare assistance for working parents.
- Support the Youth Opportunities Program
- Creating greater awareness of childhood obesity, healthy eating and active living in Missouri.
- Missouri’s YMCAs will monitor tax reform to protect non-profits community based organizations and protect the YMCAs charitable status. This helps community based organizations to contribute more than 4.8 million volunteer hours to our communities, as well as over $13 million in direct and indirect financial assistance to those we serve.