The YMCA of the USA received $4 million in grant money at their Activate America Conference.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Steps to a HealthierUS program gave $2 million to the YMCA and the HHS’s Education Appropriations Subcommittee provided the other $2 million. With the HHS grant, the YMCA of the USA will be the national partner organization for President Bush’s Steps to a HealthierUS initiative.

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Senator Tom Harkin made the funding announcements at the Pioneering Healthier Communities National Conference that is part of a multi-year YMCA Activate America initiative on community-based solutions to combat obesity and chronic disease.

Citizens Against Government Waste came out against the funding in a press release today stating that YMCAs and other nonprofits have tax advantages that hurt taxpayers and result in a level of unfair competition. The group also claims that some YMCA chapters do not adhere to their charitable purpose, and they blame the federal government for not enforcing tax laws.