YMCA, Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools Partner for Summer Meals

summer meals girl

Asheville, N.C., May 22, 2019 - More students will receive free, nutritious meals throughout the summer thanks to a partnership with the YMCA of WNC, Asheville City Schools, and Buncombe County Schools.

The two school systems and the Y are once again joining forces to give children ages 2-18 access to healthy, nutritious meals every weekday during the summer break. The goal of the federally funded Summer Meals Program is to reduce childhood hunger when school is out and free/reduced lunches aren’t available.

"The Asheville City Schools School Nutrition Program cares about our students’ health and well-being during the summer months,” said Janette Broda, ACS school nutrition director. “In partnership with the YMCA, we prepare and distribute summer meals all summer long free of charge to children age 18 and younger. We are excited to partner with the Buncombe County School Nutrition Program and the YMCA to inform our families about all of the locations where free meals and resources can be found this summer.”

In 2018, the Y helped serve more than 42,000 healthy meals in cooperation with Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, and Green Opportunities.

"We could not be more excited that our nutrition programs are growing and reaching more children in Buncombe County as we head into our second year of collaboration with Asheville City Schools and the YMCA of Western North Carolina,” said Lisa Payne, child nutrition director at BCS. “We strive to ensure that no child is hungry in or out of school, understanding the importance of healthy meals in our children's lives. Good nutrition is an essential ingredient in our work to prepare students for their tomorrow."

The YMCA of WNC and Asheville City Schools recently received the Superior Site Award from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) for going “above and beyond” to feed kids during the summer months. Buncombe County Schools also earned the NCDPI Gold Turnip the Beet Award for the second year in a row, serving close to 89,000 meals last summer.

“The YMCA of WNC is passionate about building healthier communities in Western North Carolina,” said John Brown, nutrition director of year-round meal programs for the YMCA of WNC. “We are thrilled to continue partnering with Asheville City Schools for the fourth consecutive year and Buncombe County Schools for the second consecutive year to offer free summer meals to children age 18 and younger. This program will improve food security across Asheville during summer months when school meals are not available.”

Green Opportunities is also a partner again this year. They will provide lunches for YMCA summer day campers at W.D. Williams, Sand Hill, Oakley, Estes/Koontz, and A.C. Reynolds. Open summer meal sites include Hillcrest Apartments, Crowell Apartments, Klondyke Aparments, Livingston Apartments, and Pisgah View Apartments.

As part of a new “No Kid Hungry” texting initiative, people can text FOOD to 877-877 to find the nearest summer meals site. For more information about the YMCA of WNC's Nutrition Outreach programs, please visit www.ymcawnc.org/nutrition