Jenifer Welch - T-V-S Overcoming Challenges | Feeding Our World

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TVS Continues Essential Work for U.S. Government and Initiates New Ways to Assist Program Participants Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

TVS Continues Essential Work for U.S. Government and Initiates New Ways to Assist Program Participants Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Mountain Maid Products for U.S. military and food assistance.

Brevard, NC (March 30,2020) — As a manufacturer of food that is essential for assistance programs and the U.S. military, Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) is working hard to continue the production and packaging of their Mountain Maid products while maintaining safe procedures for all employees and program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For over a decade, TVS has manufactured a variety of Mountain Maid branded pancake and other mixes for the United States military for Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Troop Support. In a typical year TVS produces enough pancake mix to serve more than 4.3 million pancakes to service members.

Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic reaches unprecedented totals in the U.S., many of the more than 20 Mountain Maid items TVS makes for DLA Troop Support are expected to be provisioned by distributors for military support outlets, including the two Naval Hospital ships deploying on both coasts of the United States.

The USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort are being deployed to assist treatments of non-COVID-19 patients in the coastal cities, relieving the pressure being placed on health professionals fighting the pandemic at the front lines. Mercy and Comfort each have a 1,000-bed capacity and are equipped with operating rooms and medical equipment.

The TVS manufacturing division is supporting other government aid programs as well during this crisis.

With businesses nationwide having to temporarily lay off workers due to regional stay-at-home edicts, demand at food banks continues to grow. TVS is currently packaging Mountain Maid Instant Non-fat Dry Milk on two large scale production lines, multiple shifts, 6-days a week. The dry milk product is distributed by the USDA to food pantries across the U.S. TVS also manufacturers a low-fat bakery mix that stocks food pantries on Native American Reservations and for other USDA designated locations.

TVS has instituted a number of best practices to ensure the safety of all TVS team members operating during these difficult times. They are supporting social distancing guidelines by having those who can work from home do so, in order to limit potential exposure to the essential production workforce who enter the building every day.

TVS has also suspended all onsite programs and services for individuals with disabilities until the COVID-19 situation is in a place of control and decline. This tough decision has not only provided an extra measure in limiting the number of people inside the building to minimize the threat of the exposure to production workers, but it also removed the amount of social interaction that TVS program participants typically are engaged in.

TVS employs over 20 Direct Support Professionals (DSP) who facilitate a variety of community engagement activities, on and off site. In this new COVID-19 paradigm, almost all of the DSPs are now aiding participants in their own homes and with necessary community activities like doctors’ visits or grocery shopping. Other DSPs have been transitioned to the TVS manufacturing lines to support the growing production needs.

These provisions are dedicated to providing the best care for all TVS program participants, as well as production team members who continue to make products that feed our world and assist the individuals fighting COVID-19 on the battle fronts.

About TVS
TVS is a social enterprise contract manufacturer specializing in the blending and packaging of dry food and beverage products. Founded in 1967, their mission is to provide quality employment, job training and residential & community services to individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment. For more information go to

Written by: Jenifer Welch

Feb. 14 begins ‘Joy’ art exhibit at TC Arts Council

Feb. 14 begins ‘Joy’ art exhibit at TC Arts Council

Colorful paintings, furniture, crafts, sculptures and drawings by TVS ‘No Limits’ artists will fill the Transylvania Community Arts Council building from Feb. 14 until Feb. 28. The joyful exhibition simply titled, “Joy” begins with an opening reception on Feb. 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

TVS ‘No Limits’ artists are not only showing their work, they are also performing different songs in sign language during the opening reception. The sign language performances are known around the area, it is an extraordinary way to express emotions in a nonverbal approach that aims to leave the audience with a feeling of inspiration.
Cookies and brownies made by the ‘No Limits’ culinary club will be served during the reception.

By creating art, individuals are able to convey personal expressions and serve as an inspiration to others.

For over 10 years, the ‘No Limits’ artists have had their own show hosted by the TC Arts Council. This will be the second time in 2020 that the artists artwork will be featured at the Arts Council building. The first time was in January for the “Faces of Freedom” exhibit.

This event serves as one of the groups largest shows and is really the beginning point of a busy year of exhibits for the artists.

The TC Arts Council is located at 349 S. Caldwell St in Brevard. The artists hope to see you there!

Written by: Jenifer Welch

Dakota McCall — Warehouse Associate

Dakota McCall — Warehouse Associate

Featured employee Dakota McCall drives a forklift in the TVS warehouse.
  • Grew up in Pisgah Forest
  • Attended Brevard High School; taking online courses at Blue Ridge to get HS diploma
  • Started at TVS in April 2016
  • Why TVS? My Dad and older brother work at TVS – hearing how much they enjoyed their jobs made me want to work here.
  • First job here: Production Worker 2nd Shift
  • Promotions: First in 2017 to Shipping Material Handler then in 2018 to Warehouse Associate
  • Skills Used for Success: good communication; being flexible and comfortable with change
  • Favorite aspect of TVS: the overall mission and the strong and amazing people I work with
  • Most memorable experience at TVS: all the friends I’ve made along the way.

“Give TVS a chance to prove how genuine the people here are. Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success.”

Maddy Shannon — Direct Support Provider

Maddy Shannon — Direct Support Provider

  • Born in Chattanooga, yet grew up in Brevard since age 2
  • Graduated Brevard High School in 2015
  • Work prior to TVS: Cashier at Bi-Lo for 2 years
  • High School Experience that inspired you to apply at TVS: helping out with and interacting with my disabled and special needs peers.
  • Started at TVS in November 2017
  • Why TVS? Good learning opportunities and a place for growth. More money too.
  • Skills Used for Success: being on time
  • Favorite aspect of TVS: working with the LifeSkills participants
  • Most memorable Experience at TVS: watching our CEO Jamie get a pie in the face at our annual picnic.

“If  you are interested in working with people with intellectual disabilities,
this is a great, fun, and rewarding job.”