Over the last year, organizations working in food security have seen a huge increase in demand due to the effects of COVID-19. AMY Wellness Foundation wanted to help alleviate some of the burden by providing reusable food bags to organizations working in food security. “Our local food partners have really stepped up during this pandemic to provide for those in need. We wanted them to have a sustainable, reusable product to help lower costs and provide something their clients will be able to use again,” said Luke Howe, Executive Director, AMY Wellness Foundation.

The Foundation distributed 500 reusable food bags to five organizations across Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties. “We’re always in search of bags for food distribution,” said John Miller, Executive Director, Reconciliation House. “Being given a consistent stream of a supply will lessen the burden on us and will be used to put our produce and frozen goods in for our families,” he said.

Feeding Avery Families had a different use for the bags. “For a new client at Feeding Avery Families the first thing that happens is they’re greeted and given a welcome bag,” said Dick Larson, Executive Director. “It’s important our clients feel welcome. For a lot of people, this is the first time they have had to ask for help, through no fault of their own, especially right now during the pandemic. We want them to feel comfortable and having this bag to carry the welcome items will be a part of that,” he continued. The Foundation also distributed to Neighbors Feeding Neighbors and Reaching Avery Ministries who both said they will be using the bags for people in need of food and personal care items.

Additionally, TRACTOR Food and Farms’ clinical referral program will also benefit from the reusable food bags. “AMY funded the clinical referral program that supports 220 families across the region,” said Dru Zucchino, Executive Director. “The food bags will be used to provide locally sourced produce and veggies in the AMY region,” he said.

AMY Wellness Foundation is committed to helping build capacity and being an invested and active member of the three counties it serves. AMYWF is grateful to all of the organizations working to make Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties a healthy place to live.

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