YMCA Summer Meal Program Wins Back-to-Back Achievement Awards

Participants take food from Healthy Living van

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recognized the YMCA of Western North Carolina's 2017 Summer Meal Program with a Gold Turnip the Beet Award.

The Turnip the Beet Award honors organizations that go the extra mile to provide nutritious meals and offer participants a variety of fruits, vegetables, and kid-friendly entrees. The YMCA of WNC was one of three statewide Gold Award recipients, including Buncombe County Schools. 

This is the second year running the YMCA of WNC has earned Turnip the Beet recognition. The 2016 Summer Meal Program earned silver honors. 

The goal of the Summer Meal Program is to reduce childhood hunger when school is out and free/reduced lunches aren't available. Last summer, the YMCA of WNC ran eight distribution sites and served 41,872 meals and snacks.

"One key part of our program is how the entire Y nutrition outreach crew and our association has made nutritious food, not just meals, the cornerstone of our summer meal service," said Cory Jackson, nutrition and wellness director at the YMCA of WNC. "By doing so we are helping make western North Carolina healthier while also bridging the summer meal gap."

This summer, the YMCA of WNC will maintain eight distribution sites in cooperation with partners Green Opportunities and Asheville City Schools.

For more information about the YMCA of WNC's Nutrition Outreach and Education Programs, visit https://www.ymcawnc.org/nutrition.