GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Tuesday, February 16, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids will receive a $40,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to support Cooking Matters, an evidence-based nutrition education program.

Check Presentation Ceremony
Time: February 16, 11:30 am
Location: Mary Free Bed YMCA – 5500 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

The six-week Cooking Matters program provides culinary and nutrition professionals who teach about meal preparation, grocery shopping, food budgeting, and hands-on nutrition education. Every week, the class uses everyday foods to create healthy, affordable, and delicious meals. After the class is over, participants are supplied with a bag of groceries, which allows them the opportunity to make the meals that they learned with their families and practice their culinary skills.

“We are grateful for this contribution, which will assist the Y’s efforts to win the fight against childhood hunger and build behaviors that improve nutrition in our community,” said Julie Sielawa, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids’ Executive Director of ACTIVATE. “The Walmart Foundation is a wonderful partner in our mission to address the problem of hunger and lack of nutrition education in West Michigan and across the state.”

During the check presentation ceremony, Debbie Haas, Manager of the Comstock Park Walmart, will present the check to Julie Sielawa during a Cooking Matters program session.

“At the Walmart Foundation, we understand that organizations such as the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids are essential to building stronger communities. They share our values and are committed to helping families in need live better,” said Haas. “Through this donation, we are hopeful that residents in Grand Rapids, Michigan will learn to select nutritious low-cost ingredients and prepare them in ways that provide the best nourishment possible for their families.”

Cooking Matters fights hunger and builds lasting healthy behaviors by enabling families to make healthy food choices on a limited budget. Specifically, this grant will positively impact the local community by showing participants that healthy food is affordable when armed with the knowledge and the financial management skills that Cooking Matters advocates.

As part of Walmart’s commitment to fight hunger, Walmart stores in Michigan donated 12,786,644 pounds of food, in their 2015 fiscal year, or the equivalent of 10,655,537 meals. Additionally, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $25,000,000 to Michigan nonprofits. The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program supports organizations, like the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, that create opportunities so people can live better, awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S. To be considered for support, more information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process is available online at

About the YMCA
The YMCA is Grand Rapids’ leading nonprofit strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Through its seven branches, YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin, and over 23 program sites, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is committed to improving the health and well-being of children and families. Y programs impact thousands of lives annually and respond to unique community needs across West Michigan.

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger relief and healthy eating, sustainability, career opportunity and women's economic empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit