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Council on Aging Recognized for Improving the Health of Buncombe County Residents

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc., recently received a $100,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation. The Council on Aging is a past BCBSNC Foundation grantee that has shown significant program results. It will use this new investment to continue its work of assisting and linking senior adults and their families with community resources to enhance quality of life.

“It’s important to keep our elderly citizens moving so they stay healthier longer,” said Wendy Marsh, executive director of the Council on Aging of Buncombe County. “The BCBSNC Foundation’s support allows us to further our impact and continue providing helpful information and resources for the older citizens in Buncombe County. Without their support, we could not do what we do today.”

Through the grant, the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc., will increase healthy behaviors for senior citizens by enhancing and replicating Project EMMA, an initiative that integrates physical activity and local produce into the Senior Dining Program, both within Buncombe County and in other areas of North Carolina.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the BCBSNC Foundation is investing a total of $1 million in 10 nonprofit organizations across North Carolina. Each organization, former BCBSNC Foundation grantees, received $100,000 to continue efforts that positively impact the health of their local residents.

“After 10 successful years, we reflect on the partnerships and relationships that are making strides in access to care, healthy eating, physical activity and enabling nonprofits to do their good work throughout North Carolina,” said Kathy Higgins, president of the BCBSNC Foundation. “Our continued investment in the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, along with our other nine anniversary grantees, represents our commitment to partner with organizations that are demonstrating real impact and that share in our mission – to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians.”

The Council on Aging of Buncombe County serves adults 60 years old and above and their families throughout Buncombe County. Its work has resulted in a rooftop garden at a senior housing site, integration of local food as a part of the Senior Dining Program and a significant increase in physical activity for seniors across Buncombe County.

In addition to the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc., the nine other nonprofit organizations receiving grants as part of the 10th anniversary include:

• Access East, Greenville
• Be Active North Carolina: Be Active Kids®, Morrisville
• Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University: MATCH program
• Communities in Schools of Moore County
• Diabetes Management Solutions: Diabetes Bus, Raleigh
• The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Raleigh
• North Carolina Association of Free Clinics, Winston-Salem
• North Carolina Partnership for Children, Raleigh
• Student Action with Farmworkers, Durham

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is a separate, independent nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians. BCBSNC Foundation focus areas include: Health of Vulnerable Populations – improving health outcomes of populations served by safety-net organizations; Healthy Active Communities – increasing physical activity and encouraging healthy eating habits; and Community Impact through Nonprofit Excellence – increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2000, BCBSNC Foundation has invested more than $67 million into North Carolina communities. More information is available at

About the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc.: The Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc. is dedicated to promoting independence, dignity, and wellness for older adults through education, innovative programming, and coordination of resources. The Council serves persons aged 60 and older, and assists caregivers in accessing services for their family members and other loved ones facing the unique challenges of aging. The Council on Aging of Buncombe County, Inc. is a 501 c 3 organization and is funded by federal, state, and county dollars; the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, participant contributions, and community donations.

(Image provided by The Council on Aging.)

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