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Ever since the early days of the pandemic, Food Connection, a local nonprofit, has been working with community partners to provide free, nutritious meals to Swannanoa residents every Saturday. Although this much-needed service has been in danger of ending several times in the past, new partners have always stepped up to fill gaps in funding and resources so that the program could continue. Recently, this generosity has even allowed the free meal program to expand to two days per week.
Every Wednesday and Friday through February, residents can come to a drive-through location, where volunteers will deliver individually packaged, heat-and-serve meals to your car. The meals are lovingly prepared by the staff at Blue Ridge Assembly.
The Wednesday meal is provided through a partnership between Food Connection and the Swannanoa Welcome Table (which, prior to the pandemic, had offered free indoor meals to residents every Wednesday at the Swannanoa United Methodist Church). The Wednesday pickup location is in the Methodist Church parking lot at 216 Whitson Ave.; hours are 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
The Saturday meals are made possible by a grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The Saturday pickup location is 105 Whitson Ave. (in the parking lot shared by Beacon Animal Hospital and Educational Partners International); hours are 11 a.m. – 12 noon. If sufficient resources are available, the free Saturday meals may extend beyond February.