YMCA of Greenville getting meals companies to areas in want with new 'Y on the Fly' van

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YMCA of Greenville has a brand new instrument to increase its cell mission of offering meals and companies to the neighborhood.

On Friday, the group unveiled the car that might be used to boost its “Y on the Fly” program. The new Dodge Ram ProMaster cargo van that may allow YMCA workers and volunteers to offer meals and companies to extra kids, households, and seniors.

“Y on the Fly’ is a Y without walls, giving staff and volunteers a way to provide outreach to the community in so many ways,” stated Parks McCleod, chair of the board of trustees for the YMCA of Greenville Foundation.

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YMCA of Greenville started efforts to assist relieve meals insecurity in 2020 when colleges closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stated Diana Watson, the group’s chief philanthropy officer.

Greenville County Schools and StayWell Greenville knowledgeable the group that kids who usually depend on colleges for breakfast and lunch, weren’t getting the meals they wanted, Watson stated.

“Greenville County Schools was doing a huge distribution, where they were distributing (food) at schools across the county, but there were families living in hotels who were technically homeless, who struggled from transportation issues, access to grocery stores, that kind of thing,” Watson stated.

“We said, ‘We can load up and take food to these families,'” Watson stated. “We thought it may be a short-term thing.”

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Instead, she stated, it has grow to be ongoing.

YMCA Greenville now supplies meals to about 200 households every week and does its bagging and packing of meals objects from two places. The program not solely delivers meals to households in accommodations, but additionally to veterans on the VA Outpatient Center, residents on the Gateway House, and particular person households recognized via Greenville County Schools, Watson stated.

The “Y on the Fly” van might be used to transport and ship meals, together with offering different neighborhood companies such as holding vitamin lessons in Nicholtown or parking zone yoga lessons within the Parker neighborhood, she stated.

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“Y on the Fly’ is supported by grants provided by the YMCA of Greenville Foundation, the Holiday Sunshine Fund, and Fall for Greenville. The food program itself is funded by YMCA’s annual campaign, as well as donations from YMCA members.

“We’re so grateful to everybody who gave to the Holiday Sunshine Fund, The Greenville News, and WYFF for persevering with that effort as a result of, as you’ll be able to see, it does make a tangible distinction for our neighbors,” Watson said.

Susan Beam said being one of the volunteers delivering groceries has, to her, been life-changing.

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“I’ve been doing this for a few yr and I suppose the primary time we went to ship, I had no concept these poor neighborhoods are backed up in opposition to a number of the most prosperous areas of Greenville. Once you see a stone’s throw, you’ll be able to’t unsee it,” she stated.

“I’m grateful and grateful that I can do that,” Beam said. “It’s a tremendous program and you may see that we actually are making a distinction.

“The van is validation of this hard work. Instead of having to load up our cars, now we’ve got a van. I love it,” she stated.

The meals delivered via “Y on the Fly” is primarily widespread, nonperishable objects. Examples embody peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, canned items, simple microwaveable meals, some breads, and fruits.

“Some of our families are transient. Some of them live in motels. They don’t have access to full kitchens,” Watson stated. “We want to make sure that what we’re giving is something they can prepare and eat. We really try to think of who we’re serving, what their circumstance is, and what we put in the bags.”


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