Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards


In response to a call by former First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America, the Y expanded its longtime commitment to supporting healthy living by adopting a set of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards. Based, in part, on years of research with key partners, the HEPA standards will build a healthier future for our nation’s children by creating environments rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

Since 2015, the New York State YMCA Foundation has received $2.1 million in legislative grants through the State Budget to support the implementation and expansion of the HEPA standards in YMCA youth programming across the state.


The HEPA Standards serve as a guide to implementing healthy eating and physical activity habits within Y programs concerning: Beverages, Family Engagement, Food, Screen Time, Infant Feeding, and Physical Activity

By implementing the Standards, we’re providing the foundation for a healthier future by supporting kids and families.  Learn more about the YMCA’s Choices Within Limits HEPA Guidelines for Early Learning and After School programming.


2020 HEPA Implementation & Expansion Grant

In support of the Y’s cause of strengthening community and improving the state’s health and well being, the New York State YMCA Foundation has received $400,000 in New York State funding to support HEPA implementation and expansion in YMCA youth programming. This includes, but is not limited to, early childcare, after-school, and summer camp settings. The funding application will be live on June 8 on the Foundation’s new grants management system. All applications and corresponding materials will be due by 5:00pm on June 26. For specific questions, please contact Paige Hughes at phughes@ymcanys.org.

Application Documents

RFA OverviewRevised 7/13/2020. Please read pages 14-17 carefully!

Budget Expenditure Form – Revised 7/13/2020. Use this form for resubmissions.

Additional Sites Information Form

Online Grant Portal

Click on the following link to access our new online Grant Portal. 

Access the Grant Portal