Y Continues to Serve Henderson County During COVID-19 Crisis

patton meals

Hendersonville, N.C., April 21, 2020 – Like many YMCAs across the nation, the Hendersonville Family YMCA has shifted operations to support critical community needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Y suspended programs and temporarily closed facilities on March 16, ahead of the recommendations of Gov. Roy Cooper and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. It will remain closed at least through April.

The shutdown has serious long-term implications for the Y’s operations, but hasn’t stopped the nonprofit community benefit organization from serving the public.

“The Y is all about community, and never more so than in times of crisis,” said Josh Simpson, executive director of the Hendersonville Family YMCA. “We have rallied to meet needs such as feeding programs, homeschool resources, online workouts, virtual classes, and wellness checks on seniors.”

Food for all

The Y's free feeding programs and mobile food markets and have moved into high gear over the past month. Thousands of children, families, and seniors have received tens of thousands of healthy meals.

Takeout meals for kids 18 and under are being served at Patton Park from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Each bag contains a healthy lunch and the next day’s breakfast.

The Y is also serving takeout meals in Buncombe, Haywood, and McDowell counties. In addition, prepackaged bags of fresh produce are available for pickup at its regularly scheduled mobile markets, including Blue Ridge Health.

As always, there’s no charge for these services, and no questions are asked.

Anyone who is quarantined and in need of food resources can reach out to 828 775 7081 for assistance. See the full nutrition outreach schedule at ymcawnc.org/nutrition.

Homeschool resources

With North Carolina schools out until May 15, parents and caregivers have found themselves responsible for overseeing their children’s academic activities.

YMCA staff have stepped in to help with fun educational activities, active play ideas, character development exercises, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) projects for all ages.

These resources are available to the public at ymcawnc.org/home-resources.

Online engagement

To help everyone stay fit during this time of social distancing, the Y is offering free access to a variety of online workouts and group exercise classes via TV, computer, tablet, smartphone and social media:

• Live group exercise classes at facebook.com/ymcawnc

• Workouts and exercise classes at ymcawnc.org/virtual-ymca and the Y’s mobile app

• Small group training, personal training, and coaching connection appointments with local Y staff

The Y is also offering critical health programming online and by phone for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson’s. In addition, staff are calling senior members to check on them and help prevent social isolation.

Patton Pool update

Simpson said the Y hopes to open Patton Pool on schedule on Saturday, May 23, but cautions that the date may change.

“Health and safety are our top concerns,” Simpson said. “We will open when we receive clearance from the state as well as the local health department.”

How you can help

Members of the public can help the Y help others by providing:

• Fabric masks for our child care and nutrition outreach teams

• Plastic, paper, and reusable bags for meal delivery

• Low-sodium canned vegetables

• Canned tuna and chicken

• Brown rice

• Dried beans and lentils

• Whole-wheat pasta, bread, and crackers

• Fresh produce of any kind

• Gardeners who can start seeds for us

• Donations to our Community Emergency Response Fund, ymcawnc.org/give

Stay with us

As the Y meets unprecedented challenges in the community, it faces an uncertain future.

“Times are tough for everyone right now,” Simpson said. “If our members need assistance with payments, they can call our business center at 828 251 5910.”

However, Simpson said, “Every cancellation and membership put on hold has a direct impact on our ability to support the community now and in the future.

“We know it isn’t possible for everyone, but we’re asking members to consider keeping their memberships active so we can protect our community,” Simpson said. “We are in this for the long haul, and we need resources to address long-term community needs.”