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Hunger and Health Coalition Executive Director Wins Statewide 2018 Circle Award

Elizabeth Young, Executive Director

The North Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NCAND) has named Elizabeth Young the winner of the 2018 Circle Award. Young is the Executive Director of Hunger and Health Coalition (HHC), a large-scale regional food pantry and free pharmacy based in Boone, NC.

NCAND presents the Circle Award annually to an individual or group outside the profession of dietetics who demonstrates outstanding interest, support and contribution to the profession of dietetics. Young was nominated for the award by faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management at Appalachian State University—one of HHC’s most active community partners.

“I have come to know Elizabeth as an unrelenting advocate of nutrition services for the food insecure population. She has been a long-term champion for healthy foods, and she believes strongly in the availability of fresh nutritious foods for all people.” said Melissa Gutschall, Ph.D. “Under Ms. Young’s leadership, the HHC has reinforced its goal of creating a major shift from providing less expensive, less nutritious foods to more holistically healthy items for their clients.”

“I have had the pleasure of working with Ms. Young on a top priority project for the HHC: development of an innovative and sustainable university/community partnership model to impact food access, health and nutritional status, and well-being of the underserved clients and families in our community.” Additionally, Dr. Gutschall remarks that “Elizabeth has played a pivotal role in providing experiences for our students to learn about food insecurity, food management, civic engagement, and cultural competence within a rural population”.

Young has served as Executive Director at HHC for the past 4 years. During that time, the organization has expanded its programming to more emphatically address the nutritional needs of its client base.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by NCAND, but I consider this to be a collective accomplishment for HHC and our partners,” said Young. “I envisioned a food pantry where our team could not only meet immediate and emergency needs but also create paths for better long-term health outcomes.

It has taken a great deal of community support to begin tackling that goal, and we will continue to work hard to grow our impact.”
Young will be presented with the 2018 Circle Award at NCAND’s annual awards ceremony in Raleigh in September of this year.

The Hunger and Health Coalition is a 501©3 nonprofit organization established in 1982. HHC operates multiple food and pharmacy assistance programs to assist low income families with meeting basic needs. Each month, the Hunger & Health Coalition provides food to an average of 1,200 families, and the Pharmacy Assistance Programs dispense an average of 1,500 prescriptions. HHC is a member of the High Country United Way. For more information, visit www.hungerandhealthcoalition.com.