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TVS collects over 850 school supplies for local Sharing House

TVS collects over 850 school supplies for local Sharing House

Lined paper, colored pencils, glue sticks, and neon highlighters overflow boxes after two weeks of collecting school supply donations for the Transylvania County Sharing House. TVS held a “Tools 4 School” donation drive and donated an amazing 885 school supply items to assist local students with getting back into the classrooms!

“TVS has been trying to support many local organizations since starting our donation drives. We figured this we would be a great time to incorporate the schools,” said TVS Benefits and Recruitment Specialist Catherine Tinsley. “This year and last has been very difficult for many families in Transylvania County and we wanted to make sure that the kids had everything they needed to have a successful school year.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, TVS decided to offer more donation events within the company to help provide extra resources to other local services aiding the community. Previous local donations include food and clothing to the Life Changers Outreach in Pisgah Forest and pet needs to the Transylvania County Animal Shelter

The school supply donation is currently the largest donation in recent TVS history, edging out the canned food drive by almost 100 items. “It really amazes me each time we do a donation drive here at TVS, our employees pull together for a great cause,” said Tinsley. “I am so excited to know that we are going to help many children and teens across the county!”

For over 20 years the local Sharing House has been providing free school supplies for any school-aged child (K-12) in a Transylvania County School. On average around 500 children receive supplies through this program. So far this year, 425 kids have already filled backpacks with supplies and the Sharing House is expecting more before the Back to School supply drive ends.

Last year the Sharing House saw a decline in students due to the COVID-19 pandemic having students learning in home classrooms.

COVID has affected the Sharing House in different ways. “This meant a huge amount to us because of the pandemic and the way life is right now, we have not seen the same amount of donations that we are used to,” said Sharing House Special Projects Coordinator Lynn Traub. “With this donation we now have the freedom to continue giving out all the supplies that students need.”

The pandemic also affected how the Sharing House hands out the backpacks. For most of this year (and prior to the pandemic), families were able to come into the building and pick out all the supplies. Now, with a rise in new cases, the Sharing House allows children to choose their backpacks, but they instead have personnel fill it with the required items before bringing the backpack out to the car.

Along with the school supplies all children have been receiving a new pair of shoes, socks, and underwear to start the year. This part of the program started 3 years ago thanks to local donations.

To take part and receive school supplies, you do not have to be signed up with the Sharing House. Appointments can be made by calling (828) 884-2866 ext. 111 and talking with Lynn Traub. However, they will accommodate walk-ins to the best of their abilities and availability. Friday, Aug 13 was the last day to receive new shoes, socks, and underwear with the school items.

The school supply drive will stay open until Friday, August 20 to assist with any last-minute needs. You can learn more about the Sharing House at


TVS continues to surge with INDM production for 297 foodbanks across the U.S.

TVS continues to surge with INDM production for 297 foodbanks across the U.S.

Reflecting back on the last year and a half, TVS has packaged and shipped over 35 million household bags of Instant Nonfat Dry Milk (INDM) to 297 food pantries across the U.S., Guam, and Puerto Rico. This has been in response to the USDA’s fight to help combat rising food insecurities worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is because of TVS’s dedicated workforce that this local nonprofit organization has been able to meet the growing demands of the USDA’s programs and deliver to individuals in need across the country.

“Our employees have been integral in allowing us TVS to meet the unusually high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg. “Our employees readily adjusted schedules and their lives to accommodate additional production requirements which included an extended period of overtime and disruptions in their families.”

It is because of their efforts that we have been able to rise to the occasion and supply the desperately needed INDM to food pantries, while also responding to emerging requests from the USDA to expedite orders for pantries that were critically low.”

As the pandemic essentially shut down the U.S. in early 2020, TVS began receiving surge order requests of INDM from the USDA. In 2020 alone, TVS shipped enough INDM to make almost 20 million gallons of fresh fluid milk for households across the US.

Now, TVS has shipped 35 million bags of INDM between 2020-2021 with the possibility of more orders before the end of the year. This will make around 35 million gallons of fluid milk for domestic households when rehydrated.

This breaks down to a total of 937 truckloads of INDM that have been shipped or are scheduled to be shipped to food pantries across the U.S. This is over 14 thousand tons of powdered milk.

“This surge in foodbank demand has been unprecedented for TVS. Overall it has risen 60-70% over these last two years, and we are very appreciative to be able to participate in these nationwide food relief efforts,” said TVS VP of Business Development and Marketing Beth Rich.

Prior to the pandemic, America had the lowest food insecurity rate in the last 20 years. However, since the pandemic began, the number of people living with food insecurities jumped by 10 million people to an estimated 45 million, with 15 million being children. This is 22-38 percent of U.S. households.

“We are very fortunate with the federal government’s response to this situation,” said Rich. “Not all countries have had this same outcome, and their projections for food insecurity are actually going up and not down.’’ 

Currently, the USDA and the U.S. government continue to invest in lowering the affects of food insecurities. TVS is proud of our legenDAIRY employees that dedicate their work hours to continue packaging and shipping INDM for food aid.

TVS increases capacity to continue assisting with international famine relief efforts

TVS increases capacity to continue assisting with international famine relief efforts

Brevard, NC (May 11, 2021) — Food insecurity has surged in recent years across the world. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, more individuals are affected or at a higher risk than ever before. To help combat this growing rate of worldwide food insecurity, Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) installed new equipment during the 2020 year to continue meeting increased demands with the production of its SuperCereal Plus (SCP) blend.

“As a supplier of further processed grain based and dairy commodities to USDA, USAID, and the US Military, TVS is pleased to announce a significant increase in plant capacity to process and package SuperCereal Plus,” said TVS VP of Operations Steve Green. “This was made possible by forming a strategic alliance with grain suppliers in the US Midwest along with extensive engineering studies and capital investments in high speed processing and packaging equipment.” 

Currently TVS’s expansion has continued to support SCP production with an overall increase of 55%. Green said, “following 10 years of direct product experience and newly increased plant capacity, we are prepared to support USAID feed programs for another decade.”

SCP is a specially formulated cereal that offers complete nutrition for children ages 6-24 months when combined with fresh drinking water and used in conjunction with breast milk.

“TVS’s SuperCereal Plus business and our assistance with international hunger relief is something that we’re particularly proud of as an organization,” said TVS CEO Jamie Brandenburg. “We worked with the USAID and the World Food Programme to aid in the formulation and development of this complete nutritional supplement, and we continue to supply this product to various parts of the world.”

The manufacturing and packaging process of SCP began collaboratively with the USDA in 2010.

“As one of the first suppliers of SuperCereal Plus in North America, we are proud to invest and grow with our distribution partners to continue supplying a nutritious feeding supplement to families and children of developing nations that are in need,” said Green.

TVS has recently produced 1600 metric tons, or 3.5 million pounds, of SCP to aid in global hunger assistance efforts. Over the years, many regions of Africa and various other areas of the world have received TVS’ SCP.

Click here to read the full PDF.

TVS ‘Bite Local’ program working to reward employees, support local restaurants

TVS ‘Bite Local’ program working to reward employees, support local restaurants

Brevard, NC (April, 21 2021) — Earlier this year, Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) initiated ‘Bite Local,’ a TVS Restaurant Support Program intended to reward its employees and give back to the local community.

Four times per year, TVS selects three local restaurants in the community and purchases gift cards to each of them. Accordingly, TVS employees receive a $15 gift card to the restaurant of their choice from the list. The first quarter offered gift cards to KTCHN, Rocky’s Grill & Soda Shop, or Creekside Subs.

TVS had a fantastic initial turnout of over 130 employees receiving gift cards this first quarter, and the second quarter is expected to be even greater!

“Our Bite Local program is a great way to support both our community and our employees! It has been a difficult year,” said TVS HR Director Lauren Hayes. “I’m so excited that we get to offer our employees the ability to experience local restaurants that might be outside of their normal choices, as well as pour into our community by supporting those who have been affected by the pandemic.”

Click here to read the full PDF or to view the Transylvania Times article.

A ‘PAW’-fect donation drive benefiting the shelter animals.

A ‘PAW’-fect donation drive benefiting the shelter animals.

In another successful donation drive, Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS) spent the last couple of weeks collecting food, treats, and toys for the Transylvania County Animal Shelter.

“We chose to donate to the Animal Shelter because of the pandemic causing a high rate of displaced animals and people in need,” said TVS HR Administrative Assistant Kayde Hopkins. “Because of this we felt a great need to help the shelter meet their demands with donations of food and toys.”

TVS employees donated over 330 pounds of kibble for cats and dogs, 243 cans of wet food, 94 toys, and 74 bags of treats! Other items such as pet beds, food and water dishes, leashes, dog collars and cat litter were also donated.

“This is why we do what we do, it is to help our community and to help the animals,” said Transylvania County Animal Shelter Manager Sara Laboe. The shelter is always accepting donations but has not seen this magnitude of contribution in the past.

Over the past year, the pandemic left individuals in hard places and the animal shelter began offering free cat and dog food to anyone who needed the assistance. “We don’t want anyone to have to surrender a pet because of the hardships brought on by the pandemic,” said Laboe.

Last year’s quarantine also affected the shelter. At the height of the pandemic, the shelter was closed to the public with only staff taking care of the animals and an available animal control officer when needed in the community. As the county began to open, the shelter adjusted and began adopting animals out by appointment.

As restrictions continue to loosen, the shelter is open to anyone looking to adopt and has welcomed back TVS INTERACT participants who enjoy volunteering to help with the shelter cats and dogs.

Since the beginning of 2021, the shelter has rescued and adopted out an average of 100 animals a month and as restrictions began to lift the shelter is back operating on a more normal schedule.

This is TVS’ first donation in 2021, but is expecting more donation drives to offer more opportunities for employees to give back to the community. TVS began ramping up donation events as a way to give back to the local community affected by the pandemic.

For their contributions to the donation drives, TVS employees are rewarded with raffle tickets to win gift cards to other local businesses. This donation drive included prizes for O.P. Taylors, Downtown Chocolates, Elements Spa, Rockin’ Bowl, and the Co-Ed Theatre.

At the end of last year, TVS donated food and clothing to the Life Changers Outreach located in Pisgah Forest and filled over 50 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child to be distributed worldwide.

To learn more about the shelter please visit