The Produce Box Helps Close Summer Meal Gap
Closing the Summer Meal Gap
Photos courtesy of The Produce Box
The Produce Box in Raleigh donated $80,000 worth of fresh local produce to more than 1,200 low-income students enrolled in this year’s YMCA’s Camp High Hopes, a seven-week summer day camp hosted by the Alexander Family YMCA and the Finley Family YMCA. The boxes contained blueberries, melons, tomatoes, corn, potatoes and other healthy selections from area farmers.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, more than 850,000 North Carolina students in low-income communities are eligible to receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year.
Camp High Hopes is fully subsidized by the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. Each child receives breakfast and lunch five days a week and has the opportunity to participate in educational and character-building activities. This year’s camp ran June 20-Aug. 1.
“The Produce Box and the YMCA want to make it easy for campers and their families to eat more fruits and veggies in the summer,” said Susan Pettengill, vice president of Healthy Living for YMCA of the Triangle. “The bags of produce enable the kids to take nutritious food back to their families every other week.”
Last summer, The Produce Box, which delivers fresh, N.C. grown produce to doorsteps across the state, gave High Hopes Campers at the Alexander Family YMCA bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to take home. To encourage healthy eating, they also provided weekly recipes. By summer’s ends, 450 campers and 350 families had received $28,000 worth of produce.
“Our mission is not just to ‘eat good,’ but also to ‘do good,’ ” said Courtney Tellefsen, founder of The Produce Box. “We are impacting the health of entire families across the Triangle with this initiative, not just the kids. This is a priority for us and the community of members we serve, and we’ll continue to look for ways to increase our efforts every year. “
Learn more at theproducebox.com.