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Faith Communities in Buncombe County: Learn more about The Opioid Crisis
Are you a leader of a faith community and concerned about how the opioid epidemic may be affecting your members? Join us on September 14th for an eye-opening conversation on this crisis affecting our country, our state, and our community.

No community is immune. In July alone, North Carolina experienced 500 Opioid overdoses emergency room visits compared to 410 at the same time last year. Buncombe County has one of the highest rates of opioid overdose emergency room visits in the state of North Carolina. With mountains of prescription painkillers circulating in WNC, the rates of opioid addiction and related deaths are skyrocketing. What is it about prescription painkillers that are so addictive and how can we keep it from taking root here?

Join us on September 14th at 6:30 at the St. James AME Church 44 Hildebrand Street in Asheville for this vital discussion on what you can do to inform, educate, and build agency for your congregation on this dangerous epidemic.

Light dinner will be served

Please RSVP by September 7, 2017
Email: Chiloh.Campbell@buncombecounty.org
Phone: 828-250-6566
Be Part of Open Streets Asheville 2017! 
August - September Update
Please consider having your organization at the table as we promote a healthy Buncombe County through play, physical activity and building community
Our Sunday afternoon inaugural 2016 Open Streets Asheville hosted 1500 in a 1 1/2 mile car-free park-like setting on downtown streets filled with neighbors, movement and community offerings from 50+ businesses and organizations. Participants experienced everything from yoga, dance, bicycle skills education, four square, soccer, pop-up cardboard playgrounds to creating murals and listening to music. Businesses offered special promotions, expanded into the street or hosted engaging activities such as knitting circles or creating a stamped leather bracelet for the price of 10 jumping jacks. 
 The Ask for September:
There are still opportunities to get involved. If your organization can provide an engaging activity that is consistent with one of our theme areas please consider participating and reach out to us. We're happy to help you explore how you can get involved and we've made it easy to start the conversation on our Get Involved page with a simple form to submit questions or ask one of our team to contact you.  Or you can contact our coordinator Danise Hauser at OpenStreetsAsheville@gmail.com.
We also hope you will share this information with other organizations that would make good partners or sponsors.  A good start is to simply direct people to the Open Streets Asheville webpage or social media to learn more.
Please also continue spread to word with those you know and via social media to help us pack the streets with lots of folks have fun, being active, rediscovering Asheville's downtown and engaging with their neighbors
We now how our Open Streets Asheville logo winner and we invite you to come out for a film screening of submissions will take place at the Grail Movie House on September 3rd.  
And when you have the opportunity, please say thanks to all our sponsors for Open Streets Asheville 2017 and support their organizations: Active Routes to School Region 2, Anchor QEA of NC, Asheville on Bikes, Cake Websites and More, City of Asheville, Go Mountain Commuting, Land of Sky Regional Council, MAHEC, WNC Bike Dealers Association and the YWCA of Asheville
If you would like to be involved, please contact openstreetsasheville@gmail.com. 
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 will also be multiple outreach opportunities where the public can meet with City Staff to provide feedback and learn more about the upcoming service expansion.

Please see the dates below:

  • Pack Memorial Library - September 11, 5:00-7:00 pm 
  • City Hall Lobby - September 12, 4:00-6:00 pm 
  • ART Station - September 13, 7:00-9:00 am 
  • Transit Committee Meeting at 100 Court Plaza, September 19,3:30-5:30 pm 
  • ART Station - September 28, 4:00-6:00 pm 
  • Eddington Center at 133 Livingston Street - October 7, 1:00-3:00 pm 
  • ART Station - October 17, 7:00-9:00 am
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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