The YMCA receiving award from members of the NC Dept. of Public Instruction
North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction has selected the YMCA of Western North Carolina’s 2016 Summer Food Service Program to represent the state in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Turnip the Beet” award.
The award recognizes sponsors who go the extra mile to provide nutritious meals to children using a variety of fruits and vegetables and kid-friendly entrees. The winner will be announced in spring 2017.
The Y also earned the state’s “Going the Distance in Innovation” award for its unique community partnerships and its use of mobile food distributions in underserved areas.
According to Feeding America’s Map the Gap data, nearly 25% of youth in North Carolina live with food insecurity, meaning they don’t have reliable access to affordable and nutritious food. This problem is made worse during summer break when free/reduced lunches aren’t available through school.
To address the challenge of childhood hunger during summer 2016, the Y served more than 37,000 nutritious meals throughout the Asheville area at its day camps and via its Healthy Living Mobile Market and Kitchen.
Meals included kid-approved options such as a pizza roll-up with turkey pepperoni, part-skim mozzarella, and veggies wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, served with a marinara dipping sauce and accompanied by a fruit cup and fresh cauliflower.
“Our staff always looks for ways to partner with key community players, including Asheville City Schools, to provide innovative solutions to our region’s most urgent needs. The Y is honored to be recognized for our Summer Food Service Program, which is part of our larger community effort to meet the needs of those living with food insecurity,” said Paul P. Vest, president and CEO of the YMCA of WNC.