Healthy Eating Program for Lady Bearcat Basketball

The Problem

The "Healthy Eating Program for Lady Bearcat Basketball" is a program that will provide healthy meals for girls in grades 7-12 that play basketball for the School District of the City of York. In my second year as the Head Girls Varsity Basketball Coach, I have come to the realization that many of my players are not eating properly, due to the following factors; a lack of education, culture, socio-economic situations, and time. Many of my players fall under the definition of being “at-risk youth”, and after building relationships with them over the past year, I can see that healthy eating is not a priority for them. Many of my players, like other York City Youth are living below the poverty level and they reside in single parent homes. The aforementioned, means that the head of their households often cannot afford the money or the time to participate in healthy eating. The ethnicities of players in the basketball programs are African-American and Latina. Due to culture, many traditional food dishes are high in fat and calories, which causes individuals to be unaware of healthy food alternatives. On a consistent basis, I saw that players were fatigued and running on an empty stomach during practices and games. After personal conversations, I found that this occurred for the following reasons: • Did not eat school lunch, due to overcrowded lunch lines • Did not drink, because some drinks were past expiration date • After waiting in line they did not have enough time to eat their lunch. • Lunch period was so early (10am) that they were hungry by practice and game times. • Players did not have enough time to go home and get something to eat before practice or games. • Nothing to eat at home • Would go to “corner store” to get a bag of potato chips and candy. With this grant we will be able to provide, healthy snacks before and after practices for players. We will also be able to prepare healthy pre-game meals for players, so that they will not compete on an empty stomach. Recommendation Letter from Dorothy Miller attached: To whom it may concern: I am very pleased to recommend Sandie Walker and her Lady Bearcat Basketball Team for a Do Something Grant. I have had the opportunity to know Sandie for over 10 years and have watched this young woman develop into a mature individual ready in every way to better her community. Sandie graduated from the University of Richmond and came back to the City of York, which is something that is rare for young adults to do. Throughout this time Sandie has been involved in numerous activities that are helping York City youth participate in positive activities, including the creation and further development of Youth Obtaining Respect and Knowledge Program, which is an enrichment program exposing at-risk teenagers to innovative educational and travel experiences. Last year, Sandie began coaching the girl’s varsity basketball team at her alma mater, William Penn Senior High School. Clearly, the program was in disrepair, due to many factors and often I can see the challenges that Sandie deals with on a daily basis. The thing that impresses me so much is how Sandie does not give up on her players, because she understands that her there is a strong need for positive, consistent, African American female role models, in the lives of her players. I could go on and on, but it is clear to me as I hope it is to you that this young woman, Sandie Walker, has done exceptional things in our community. This Do Something Grant would help supply healthy meals, for players who usually are not getting the nutritional food on a regular basis. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Dorothy Miller York’s Helping Hand Assistant Director 412 West King Street York, PA 17401 (717)-846-9275

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