The YMCA of Coastal Georgia is proud to announce that the produce distribution program, Fresh Express, will be adding a second distribution location at the West Broad Street YMCA. This second location is expected to nearly double the amount of produce distributed directly back to neighbors who need it most.
Fresh Express began in July of 2016 as a site and partner with Everybody Eats Fresh Free Fridays (E2F3).
“Upon learning of the Everybody Eats Fresh Free Friday program, started by local students Jonathan Gibson and Ilya Synder, the Y was incredibly encouraged and motivated to participate,” said Joel Smoker, President & CEO of YMCA of Coastal Georgia. “We initially determined the East side of Savannah be the best fit for our program. And now, after nearly three years of operating at this single location, we are so excited to expand the program to meet the community needs for an additional distribution site on the west side of Savannah.”
Fresh Express locations are supported by the YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Healthy Savannah through grant funding awarded through the Center for Disease Control’s REACH program to provide close the gap in health disparities among priority populations in Savannah and Chatham County.
The primary approach of the Savannah/Chatham County REACH project is to reduce health disparities among African American and Hispanic/Latino Americans in low income neighborhoods in seven zip codes in Chatham County by improving access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity, and creating more effective community linkages between people in need and the clinical service providers and community organizations that can help.
Each month a team of YMCA staff and community volunteers select fresh produce and bread from Second Harvest. Food is distributed to anyone in line, up to two bags per household. The only information requested is in regards to the number of people in their household.
“We understand the increasing need for access to fresh, healthy foods in our neighborhoods,” shared Hillary Bradbury, Communications Lead for REACH Savannah – Chatham County. “This additional distribution location provides a crucial point of access for the west side of Savannah to fresh fruits and vegetables each month.”
The Fresh Express programs are held on the third Friday of every month and are open to the public.
For questions regarding the YMCA of Coastal Georgia’s Fresh Express program, to volunteer, or learn more about the REACH Grant, please contact Marketing & Communications Director, Hillary Bradbury at 912.354.5480.