YMCA, Asheville Schools, Buncombe Schools Partner for Summer Meal Program

Kid happy about summer food

Fewer students will go hungry this summer thanks to a partnership between the YMCA of WNC, Asheville City Schools, and Buncombe County Schools. 

The two school systems and the Y are joining forces to give school-age children access to healthy, nutritious meals every weekday during the summer break. The federally funded Summer Meal Program's goal 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."

Last summer, the YMCA of WNC worked with ACS to operate eight delivery sites and serve 41,872 nutritious meals and snacks to area schoolchildren. 

Buncombe County Schools has also operated its own successful summer meal program, but will be able to feed even more kids by partnering with ACS and the Y.

"Buncombe County Schools is dedicated to supporting our students' academic and nutritional needs, even when the school bell stops ringing." said Lisa Payne, child school director at BCS. "We are excited about our partnership this summer to ensure students and families still have access to nutritious food. We think this collaboration will make a huge difference in keeping our students healthy this summer and get them ready for a new school year.

The YMCA of WNC and Buncombe County Schools recently received the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Gold Turnip the Beet Award for going above and beyond to feed kids during the summer months.

The Y's Nutrition Outreach team will begin serving healthy, nutritious meals at no charge on June 11 at ACS sites and on June 18 at BCS sites.

"We are honored to collaborate with both local school systems to feed kids this summer," said Cory Jackson, director of nutrition services at the YMCA of WNC. "This collaboration is a tremendous step towards ensuring that every child in Buncombe County has access to nutritious meals over the summer months."

For more information about the YMCA of WNC's Nutrition Outreach and Education Programs, and to download a full list of Summer Food Program sites, please visit https://ymcawnc.org/nutrition.