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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recognized the YMCA of Western North Carolina’s 2018 Summer Meals Program with a fourth consecutive 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 10 statewide award recipients, including Buncombe County Schools.

“It is a great honor to be selected for the fourth year in a row as a Turnip the Beet program,” said Cory Jackson, nutrition and wellness director at the YMCA of WNC. “As an organization we strive to promote healthy food for all and that couldn’t happen without the support of NCDPI and the USDA.”

The goal of the Summer Meals Program is to reduce childhood hunger when school is out and free/reduced lunches aren’t available. Last summer, the YMCA of WNC ran 12 distribution sites and served 42,817 nutritious meals and snacks in cooperation with Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, Green Opportunities, McDowell County Schools, Mission McDowell Hospital and Pardee Hospital.

“With quality nutrition being such a large part of child development, we are thrilled to partner with McDowell Hospital to ensure that every child in our programs gets two healthy meals each day. We couldn’t do it without their support or the support of NCDPI and the USDA,” said Toby Bramblett, executive director of the Corpening Memorial YMCA.

Last year the Y served 8,063 meals over the summer in McDowell in partnership with McDowell Hospital, now Mission Hospital McDowell.

The Y is joining forces with partners in Buncombe, McDowell and Henderson County this summer to once again give children ages 2-18 access to healthy, nutritious meals every weekday during the summer break.

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 https://ymcawnc.org/nutrition.

Each week, the YMCA nutrition team is in the community distributing from one of their Healthy Living Mobile Markets. Each distribution is paired with healthy recipes, a practical cooking demonstration, and valuable nutrition information that are easy to understand. Distributions are free and open to the public, no questions asked. 

Grace Community Church (5182 U.S. 70 W., Marion)

3:30-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3; July 17

A.C. Bud Hogan Community Center (909 E. Main St., Old Fort)

10:30-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 11; July 25

Corpening Memorial YMCA (348 Grace Corpening Dr., Marion)

4:30-5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 18

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