The Cantina offers diners a chance to donate sides to help others through June 30

Press release

From Children First and Communities in Schools Buncombe County

The Cantina Fresh Mex and Tequila Bar in Historic Biltmore Village is launching a ‘giveback’ on their new menu. Each entrée now comes with a choice of 2 sides, including Mexican Calabacitas corn bread and locally grown Kale salad. As part of the giveback, each guest has the option of donating one or both of their sides – with the cash value of the sides going to Manna Food Bank. Each quarter, The Cantina picks a local food charity to receive a grant from Manna in the amount of the donation.

Sherrye Coggiola, owner of The Cantina, says: “I’ve witnessed first-hand the role Children First/ Communities In Schools plays in helping fill the gaps for Buncombe County children and families – including providing food boxes. This quarter we are excited to assist the organization with a Manna grant that will help them defray their food costs.”

“Right now in Buncombe County, one out of every four children is at risk of hunger,” says Allison Jordan, executive director of Children First/CIS. “Children First/CIS advocates at the state and national level for policies that will reverse this disturbing trend; in the meantime, we partner with Manna to provide supplemental food to the children and families with whom we work. It means so much to our financial bottom line to have a business like The Cantina step up with a creative way to help guests support our organization and our work.”

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. The FRCE is located on the campus of Emma Elementary School in West Asheville. The FRCE improves the financial stability of families by providing emergency assistance through a food pantry; clothing closet; emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities and medical expenses; ongoing case management; a community garden; parenting classes; and holiday assistance. We work with families individually to bring them out of crisis and to a point of financial stability. These services are available to both English-speaking and Latino families living in the Emma community.

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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