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Fuel Up & Have Fun With ‘Y on the Fly’ This Summer

the collaborative effort will bring free food, activities to the community

McKenna Scherer |

FREE FUN FOR ALL. A collaborative effort across Chippewa Falls is bringing free food and an hour of fun to elementary schools, all summer long. (Photo via Unsplash)
FREE FUN FOR ALL. A collaborative effort across Chippewa Falls is bringing free food and an hour of fun to elementary schools, all summer long. (Photo via Unsplash)

The Chippewa Falls YMCA is partnering with Feed My People Food Bank and the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District to bring free food and activities to elementary schools across Chippewa Falls this summer.

From June-August this summer, the C.F. YMCA’s “Y on the Fly” program will begin hosting mobile events offering free sack lunches and activities to the entire community. The free programming and food will be available one day per week at the listed schools, where community members are welcome to participate as many times as they’d like. The free lunch provided by the school district will be offered to those 18 years and younger.

According to a press release, “Y on the Fly” will begin the week of June 12. Each day of the week, one of the area schools – Hillcrest Elementary, Halmstad Elementary, Stilton Elementary, Parkview Elementary, and Jim Falls Elementary – will be the site for the free events. Others will be added to the school site schedule as the summer continues.

"the best part is that all of this is free for anyone who attends."



“No child should wonder where their next meal is coming from. Sadly, we recognize that this is a very realistic situation for many children and families in Chippewa Falls,” Carrie Mathwig, C.F. YMCA’s Health Living director, said. “Thankfully, we were able to bring the right community resources together and will be addressing this issue on a very large scale this summer.”

A food truck pantry will also be parked at Parkview Elementary each Thursday starting on June 12, bringing 5,000-6,000 pounds of food to anyone in the community in need. This is open to all, not just those 18 years and younger.

Starting June 26, “Y on the Fly” events will be offered in rural area communities including Cornell, Bloomer, Stanley, and Cadott.

Free activities to expect include coordinated games and activities for middle schoolers, supervised group games and free play for elementary-age kids, and flag football, volleyball, corn hole, and spike ball for high schoolers.

“Y on the Fly” 2023 schedule:

  • When: June 12, 19, 26; July 17, 24, 31; August 7, 14, 21
  • School Site Schedule:
    • Mondays: Hillcrest Elementary (1200 Miles St., Chippewa Falls)
    • Tuesdays: Halmstad Elementary (565 E South Ave., Chippewa Falls)
    • Wednesdays: Stillson Elementary (16556 50th Ave., Chippewa Falls)
      • (Starting July 17, also Southview Elementary (615 A St., Chippewa Falls))
    • Thursdays: Parkview Elementary (501 Jefferson Ave., Chippewa Falls)
    • Fridays: Jim Falls Elementary (13643 198th St., Jim Falls)
  • Daily Schedule (10:30am-12pm):
    • 10:30-11:30am: YMCA hosted games and activities
    • 11:30-11:45am: Free sack lunch

“The YMCA is excited to provide parents with an opportunity for their children to get out of the house and have sun fun. The best part is that all of this will be free for anyone who attends,” Mathwig said. “The Y on the Fly program allows us to serve everyone regardless of whether they are a member of the YMCA or not.”

Registration is requested in order to help with planning, though is not required. No ID is required to attend the pop-up pantry, which will be drive-thru style. Walk-ups are welcome too.

Learn more about the "Y on the Fly" programming and schedule here