Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank

Across North Carolina, food banks are seeing a drastic increase in the need for food and resources from neighbors struggling with hunger following the end of emergency SNAP allotments in February 2023. Check out the May Fresh News to learn more about the growing need and how you can help:

  • Hunger in NC: Need for Food, Resources Continues to Grow
  • National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive
  • Outpace Hunger 2023
  • Recognitions

As the need for food continues to grow statewide, food drives like Stamp Out Hunger® serve as a vital source of food for neighbors.

Hunger in North Carolina

Food Banks Across NC See Stark Increase

in Need for Food, Resources

Food banks across North Carolina have announced that they are seeing a drastic increase in need for food and resources from neighbors experiencing hunger following the end of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments in February 2023.

In the 16 counties of Western North Carolina, MANNA FoodBank saw an increase of more than 10,000 people in first quarter of 2023 compared to the last quarter of 2022, a trend that is anticipated to continue as benefits expire and inflation continues to cause financial strain.

“We are now serving over 133,000 people on average each month,” said Dr. Claire Neal, Chief Executive Officer for MANNA FoodBank. “This is more than double the number of people we were serving prior to the pandemic and is reflective of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis that thousands of households across our region are facing. These troubling trends underscore even further what we continue to hear from thousands of families every month: even working full-time, their income isn’t meeting their most basic needs.”

With food bank funding still in negotiation as part of the General Assembly’s budget process as well as proposed cuts to federal nutrition programs in the U.S. Congress, food banks across North Carolina are shoring up resources to continue serving the community.

“The North Carolina food banks are incredibly thankful for support entrusted in us to do the work of hunger relief in our state, and work as good and efficient stewards of the resources we receive,” said Mike Darrow, Executive Director of Feeding the Carolinas. “The increased need for food and programming that we’re seeing currently and planning for does require additional resources and action on the part of our federal, state, and local leaders to help shape policies that support North Carolinians experiencing hunger.”

Benefits Update

Changes Coming to Medicaid, SNAP, WIC

The federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ends on May 11, which may mean changes to Medicaid, SNAP, and WIC benefits for enrollees. However, there are action steps that neighbors can take to ensure their information is current:

  • Update your information with Medicaid, SNAP(contact your local Department of Social Services), and WIC (contact your county's WIC agency).
  • Check for official mail, e-mail, or texts with instructions on when/how to renew coverage or benefits.
  • Reply as soon as possible with updated information and submit forms by the due date.

Click here (pdf) for helpful tips in English and click here (pdf) for Spanish.

Stamp Out Hunger®

National Association of Letter Carriers' Nationwide Food Drive Is May 13

Just as food is essential to life, food donations are essential for food banks. Indeed, food banks like MANNA thrive on donations, whether they come from local farms, organizations, schools, or community members who want to make a difference. And with food banks across the state serving record numbers of people, we can't overstate the significance of food donations.

This is why food drives like the National Association of Letter Carriers' (NALC) Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive are so critical. NALC will conduct its annual national food drive this Saturday, May 13. NALC's food drive, first held in 1993, helps feed millions of Americans, including right here in our region.

The Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive, the country's largest one-day food drive, provides residents with an easy way to donate food to those in need. Customers simply leave their donation of non-perishable food items next to their mailbox on Saturday, May 13. Letter carriers will collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and distribute them to local food banks, pantries, shelters, and churches.

"Letter carriers are a part of every neighborhood in the nation," NALC President Fredric Rolando said, "and we see the growing need for food assistance in our communities. On Saturday, May 13, NALC invites everyone to participate in the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive®. Together, we can help stamp out hunger in America."

The timing is important, with food banks, pantries and shelters across WNC seeing growing numbers of families needing emergency food support. 

MANNA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Claire Neal noted that households across the board—but especially those with seniors and children—are struggling to balance food costs with the skyrocketing costs of living in our region. "That is why we are more grateful than ever for this partnership with the Letter Carriers and every single person who takes the time to set out a food donation at their mailbox during this incredible nationwide effort," said Neal.

Click here to read more about Stamp Out Hunger®.

Mission in Action: Food drives are one simple way you can support neighbors struggling with hunger in your own community. Visit our website to learn more about planning and hosting a food drive.

Telling MANNA's Story

Share Your Memories with Us

This year, MANNA is celebrating 40 years of involving, educating, and uniting people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina ... and we need your help to capture the stories of the many people who have been part of this incredible journey so far!

One way you can help us tell MANNA's story is by sharing your memories and stories with us. Do you have pictures, stories, or pieces of MANNA memorabilia to share? Fill out this form or e-mail us your memories and help us honor the rich history of our first 40 years.


Outpace Hunger 2023

Turn Activity into Meals for WNC Neighbors

We are excited to announce that MANNA's Outpace Hunger campaign is back!  


Now through Aug. 31, we invite people of all ages and abilities to join the growing community of Outpace Hunger participants to “Feed People and Your Passion” through our fundraising campaign that helps turn your favorite activity into much-needed healthy food for neighbors in WNC. Whether you're an avid dog walker, a yoga lover, a stop-and-smell-the-roses hiker, or an ultra-marathoner, you can turn your passion into meals by signing up to participate.   


The campaign is simple: Participants set an activity-based fundraising goal and share their personal fundraiser with friends and family. Then, they track their progress and encourage people to support their effort to raise money for meals as they come closer to their goal.  


For 2023, we have big goals to raise $40,000 for our 40th anniversary year! Each registered participant will receive BOTH the 2021 and 2022 “Feed People and Your Passion” Outpace Hunger T-shirts to celebrate your participation.

Get Inspired: Hiking for Hunger

Need some inspiration to design your own Outpace Hunger fundraising campaign? Check out the story of Micah and Keeka Grant-Tomlinson, creators of Hiking for Hunger. These avid hikers are trekking across the 2,653-mile Pacific Crest Trail—which stretches from Mexico to Canada—to raise critical funding for MANNA and awareness about the ever-increasing need for food in WNC.

This isn't the first time BAM (Micah) and Hero (Keeka) have set their sights on an ambitious goal: In 2021, these former MANNA staffers hiked the formidable Appalachian Trail, a 2,200-mile trail that passes through 14 states in the Eastern U.S. Follow their progress, cheer them on, or support their campaign.

Mission in Action: Not sure you can tackle a 2,600-mile hike? Good news: You get to design your own Outpace Hunger campaign! Choose an activity you like to do—swimming, running, biking, yoga, you name it—and set your goal. Every $1 raised for MANNA helps provide four meals' worth of food – during a time of unprecedented need statewide. Now it's time to get active and make an impact in your region!


Table for Three

Thank You to Our Restaurant Partners


We'd like to thank the following food donors for their support of our food distribution efforts:

  • Flavor 1st Growers & Packers, LLC
  • Ingles Markets
  • Lipman Produce
  • Nix Fruit Farm
  • Paul Collins Produce
  • Spring Acre Farms
  • Transylvania Vocational Services, Inc.

We'd like to thank the following retail food donors for their support of our food distribution efforts:

  • Aldi
  • Dollar General
  • Food Lion
  • Fresh Market
  • Publix
  • Sam's Club
  • Target
  • Trader Joe's
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods

We'd like to thank the following Foundations for their support of our food distribution efforts:

  • Ameriprise Foundation
  • Louis and Harold Price Foundation
  • Pisgah Investments Foundation
  • Publix Supermarket Charities
  • Trinity Episcopal Church Outreach Committee

We'd like to thank Ingles Markets for their support through the Ingles Reclaim Center:

April 2023: 287,622 lbs. of food donated.

Thank you, Ingles Markets, for your incredible partnership with us in efforts to end hunger in our region!

We'd like to thank the following Corporate Champions for stepping forward to help our neighbors access food:

  • Advance Auto Parts - Store #4630
  • Curtis Hi-Tech Auto Service Center
  • Granny's Kitchen Restaurant & Catering
  • M.B. Haynes Corporation
  • Mast General Store
  • Riverbend Nursery
  • Sensibilities Day Spa
  • UnitedHealth Group

We'd like to thank the following Feeding America Corporate Partners for working to create a food-secure WNC: 

  • Harris Teeter
  • Publix Super Markets

We'd like to thank the following Events + Campaigns for working to create a food-secure WNC: 

  • Jersey Mike's Day of Giving
  • Wheels for Meals Spring Car Show
  • WYFF News 4 Feed It Forward Campaign


For more than 30 years, MANNA FoodBank and Ingles Markets have been filling plates, TOGETHER.

Thank you for your steadfast partnership, Ingles Markets!

Feed Hope. Fight Hunger.

Thank you for supporting the work we do and for supporting neighbors in need. Together, we can end hunger in our region.

Involve. Educate. Unite.

We stand firmly beside those united in seeking positive change, equity, and justice for all. 

Speak Up. Change Lives.

Our mission is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina and a critical part of this mission is advocating for those experiencing the effects of income insecurity and food insecurity.

That's where you come in.

We are a non-partisan organization dedicated to sharing information about the issues affecting the people we serve, and we do not endorse political parties or candidates. We simply ask community members to work with our elected officials to make legislation that works for us all and makes our region, our state, and our country stronger from the ground up.

Click here if you'd like to receive advocacy-related emails from MANNA FoodBank. Soon you will begin receiving information from us about ways you can use your voice and actions to help us end hunger in our region.

Give. Volunteer. Advocate.

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