Cantina Fresh Mex and Tequila Bar donates $5,000 to Children First/Communities in Schools

Press release

From Children First/Communities in Schools:

(Asheville, NC) This past spring, The Cantina Fresh Mex and Tequila Bar in Historic Biltmore Village launched a ‘giveback’ on their new menu, where restaurant-goers could choose to donate one or both of their sides – with the cash value of the sides going to a local nonprofit that fights hunger in the community.

This past quarter’s recipient is Children First/CIS, providing the organization with $5,000 to support their work around hunger issues in Buncombe County.

“We are so excited that we are able to do this for Children First/CIS and our local community in need,” says Sherrye Coggiola, owner of the Cantina. “On average, Cantina guests donated 28 sides per day.”

Allison Jordan, executive director of Children First/CIS, says: “Children First/CIS advocates at the state and national level for policies that address child hunger. In the meantime, however, we know that the families we serve may need a food box to help put dinner on the table. We stock a food pantry at our Family Resource Center at Emma, and this donation from The Cantina and their generous guests will go a long way in helping us stretch our budget to help as many families as possible.”

Last year, the food pantry at Children First/CIS’s Family Resource Center at Emma (FRCE) provided a total of 684 food boxes to 213 households. These families include Ms. Emily’s (pictured), a 77 year-old grandmother of three who is the sole provider for her grandchildren. She recently came into the Children First/CIS Family Resource Center at Emma (FRCE) to pick up a food box. Because of support from The Cantina, MANNA food bank, and community partners, the FRCE food pantry can continue to support Ms. Emily and other families.

Children First/Communities In Schools of Buncombe County is a local non-profit that provides programs to economically disadvantaged children & families. These include: Family Resource Center at Emma, Latino Outreach, Learning Centers, CIS Success Coordinators, Project POWER/AmeriCorps, and advocacy. Children First’s mission is to empower children and their families to reach their full potential through advocacy, education and services. The mission of Communities In Schools is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. To find out more go to


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