Help the City of Asheville Identify Which Transit Service to Expand Next Year
In January 2018, Asheville Transit will begin new service including: 1 additional daily trip on Route 170, Sunday/Holiday Service on all routes, and 8 additional hours of evening service on select routes.

We want to hear from riders, in choosing which routes should benefit from the additional evening hours of service. An online survey is available in English and Spanish; paper surveys will be available at the ART Station and on board buses. Please share this information with those who use or would like to use Asheville Transit as well as those who may work with users of the system. You'll find this information posted in our Facebook feed as well to help in sharing.

Online survey
Take the survey in English here.
Tome la encuesta en español aquí.
There is still one more outreach opportunities where the public can meet with City Staff to provide feedback and learn more about the upcoming service expansion. 
  • ART Station - October 17, 7:00-9:00 am
Would You Like to Have a Voice in Shaping Buncombe County's Greenways? Apply to be a  New Board Member for the December 2017 – November 2019 Term

Connect Buncombe’s mission is to encourage and support the implementation of the Greenways and Trails Master Plan and the construction of greenways throughout Buncombe County through public awareness, community education and fundraising activities.

Connect Buncombe is an all-volunteer organization, meaning that they're still growing toward having staff. With this in mind, they count on active participation from their board to take on leadership toward achieving important work in raising awareness and funds for greenways. While applicants with an array of experience are sought, Connect Buncombe has a specific interest in board volunteers who bring expertise in the arena of major donor cultivation, membership development, grant writing, and communications/marketing. Applicants with affiliation with “friends of” greenway groups throughout the County are also encouraged to apply.

The board meets for 1½ hour once/month, with committees and special projects teams meeting on ad hoc basis to meet their objectives.

New board member applications are due no later than October 18, 2017. A paper application form may be submitted by email in lieu of this form.

Nominated applicants will be reviewed by the selection committee of the board and interviewed. The nominating committee will present slate of board members to be voted on during Connect Buncombe’s annual meeting in November.

Help Spread the Word About Double Up Food Bucks, A New Program to Help SNAP Recipients Purchase More Fruits and Vegetables! August Update
The DUFB program awards a dollar for each SNAP dollar used to purchase locally grown produce.These dollars can then be spent to purchase any other fruit and veggies purchased from the same establishment.

This 2017 pilot is an exciting scaleable effort to develop a successful model in WNC in preparation for submitting a USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Initiative (FINI) grant in 2018 to expand to more retail outlets in Buncombe and surrounding counties. Eventually this is expected to be a statewide initiative and conversations are underway with Durham and Wilmington. Moving forward MountainWise, a non-profit serving the counties west of Buncombe, will be the lead agency in this effort as DUFB expands initially into Haywood County.
DUFB Eligible Produce on Display!
August Update from Nicole Hinebaugh of Bountiful Cities: The Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) was launched at the end of June with a soft-open at the French Broad Food Co-op and the numbers there are vastly exceeding our expectations. So far, as of a report issued in mid-August there are 160 people enrolled in the DUFB program there, and over $1,300 worth of produce has already been purchased with DUFB matching dollars
We have been waiting for the West Village Market's waiver addition to be approved by the USDA in order to be able to offer the DUFB program there. Two days ago we received the word that they have been approved, so they will be launching in the next week or so. We have the marketing materials printed and distributed to the stores, and now that we are able to officially launch publicly we'll be passing out materials to our community org partners, as well

We have had a couple of volunteers tabling at the FBFC for the most busy shifts, informing customers of how the DUFB program works, and helping people get signed up. We are also partnering with the YWCA to inform participants at their monthly Community Dinners about the DUFB program. With the upcoming public launch we will be arranging for robo-calls from the BCDHHS to every SNAP household in Buncombe County. We anticipate that this, in addition to other forms of public advertising will bring many participants to both locations.  

With the numbers we are already seeing in just the first 7 weeks of the program at one location, we estimate that we will run out of Community Foundation of WNC dollars early, and so are planning to approach the foundation to ask for an increase in funds mid-cycle (recognizing this possibility, the foundation encouraged us to reach out should this be the case). Additionally, this morning we received notification about the funding we applied for from Mission Community Investment, and we are ecstatic to report that we received exactly what we requested! Those funds will help to buffer the two stores currently involved, extend their funding period, and to add one to two additional site locations in Buncombe County by the end of this year, all funded through next October.  

After the public launch we'll be expanding our public education piece, as well, working with Manna Foodbank, the various Pop-Up produce markets, and other folks to table all over the place with DUFB info and sign-ups, cooking demos and recipes with local produce, and SNAP/EBT application support.
 The Ask for September:
We continue to need you to help us identify volunteers to serve as Double Up Liaisons.  These volunteers should be SNAP recipients and individuals who need 20 volunteer hours a week to maintain their SNAP eligibility.  Take a look at the Double Up Volunteer flyer,  print it off, and share it with individuals that might be a good fit for this opportunity.
Please continue to begin letting individuals know about the program and how they can participate and watch for information on launch of West Village Market's program and additional outreach strategies. Click here to download a flyer to share.  The plan is to begin larger outreach efforts as soon as the West Village Market location launches. 
For more information on the Double Up program, take a look at this article written by the Mountain Xpress!

Say Thank You to the Buncombe County School Board for the Super Summer Meals Program & Help Spread the Word!
Children First Communities in Schools has put together a Thank You petition for the Buncombe County School board for the Super Summer Meals program and they would love your assistance in garnering signatures through your networks. In August/Sept. we will send this thank you letter to Buncombe County school board.
 The Ask:
Encourage those in your networks to send a thank you by sharing this information in your newsletters or social media  Here' language you can use:
Through the free & reduced meals program, our schools are on the front lines of making sure that children receive healthy meals.  In the summer months, children receiving these meals at school are at higher risk of food insecurity. To address this serious threat to child health, Buncombe County Schools began running a Super Summer Meals program. Last summer, the program served 89,000 meals to children across the county.

Please take a moment to sign this Thank you petition to the leadership at Buncombe County Schools for prioritizing and supporting Super Summer Meals once again in 2017  bit.ly/2sTT1eX

If you want to do some further research on the Summer Meals program, please feel free to go to our website at http://childrenfirstcisbc.org/2016/07/buncombe-countys-super-summer-meals-alleviates-summer-food-insecurity-for-children/ to read an article about this program. 

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