WNC neighbors gather for a meal and grocery pickup. (August 2023)

FRESH NEWS September 2023

Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank



Another disturbing new high marks the most people MANNA has ever served in a single month.


Now more than ever, we need our WNC community to rally around our neighbors who are struggling most. Join us, and take action in September (and all year long!) as part of Hunger Action Month.

And don't miss:

  • MANNA Day at the Mountain State Fair
  • Did You Know...
  • Recognitions + Gratitude

Every action―big or small―is one step closer to an America where no one is hungry.

A Staggering New High...Again.

As we have been reporting for several months now, the skyrocketing growth in the need for emergency food continues across the NC mountains.

Amidst this crisis, we continue to be inspired by our community of partners, volunteers, supporters and advocates as we face this daily crisis for food across our region. Your actions - both large and small - motivate and inspire us, and it is only with your dedicated support that we continue to stretch every resource to be there with food when our neighbors turn to us.


MANNA and our steadfast network of food distribution partners continue to serve an astronomical need for food: in June, we served over 155,000 people, and in July, we hit another chilling high, with more than 163,000 people turning to MANNA and our partners for emergency food support.

We continue to serve hard-working families who simply can't make the math add up with their budgets because of record housing costs, and the increase that everyone continues to see at the grocery store.

Seniors living on a fixed income are turning to us because they are faced with a desperate choice of affording healthcare and medicine, or affording food.

Families with young children are struggling against astronomical child care costs that, if they can't afford it, often force a family member out of the work force - creating a financial hardship either way.

We hope that as you read through this newsletter, you will be inspired, too - to take action, whether large or small, to help make life better for someone calling WNC home.

Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month

Everyone needs nutritious food to thrive, and in every community in America, people are working hard to provide for themselves and their families. Yet 34 million people (1 in 10), including more than 9 million children (1 in 8), experience food insecurity in the U.S.* And here in Western North Carolina, as you probably know by now, MANNA continues to hit new record highs of the number of people turning to us for food every month. That includes more than 1 in 4 children, and their families, seniors, veterans, front line workers, and people who are experiencing a crisis. With this enormous need for food across the mountains, there has never been a better time to act, and help make a life-saving difference.

September is Hunger Action Month - an annual nationwide month of action to spread awareness and inspire everyone to join the movement to end hunger. Every action - big or small - is one step closer to a hunger-free WNC, and an America where no one is hungry.

*Feeding America, 2023

Food for Today, Tomorrow, and a Lifetime

At MANNA, we are marking 40 years of working daily to meet our mission to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in WNC.

We honor this mission through our work to provide food for today, tomorrow, and for a lifetime. We work to support food for today through our daily food distribution activities with our incredible volunteers and partner network. We are working to provide food for tomorrow through our Food Helpline, supporting residents in signing up for SNAP to help supplement their households' grocery needs. And we are working to provide food for a lifetime by our ongoing work to educate our community and elected representatives so that we can all seek solutions together that end hunger in Western North Carolina, and across the country.

Actions You Can Take This Month

This month, we invite you to grab a friend and get involved in our mission. Along with volunteering at MANNA or one of our partners, you can check out one of this happenings:

Sept. 1 - 30:

Hops for Hunger with 12 Bones Brewing and Appalachian Mountain Brewing, where every pour of a pint with purpose provides 4 meals! (see below for details)

Monday, September 11:

Empty Bowls tickets go on sale!

Wednesday, September 13:

MANNA Day Sponsored By Ingles - We CAN Fight Hunger

Join us at the Mountain State Fair for one of our most important annual food drives! Bring 5 cans of food and get free entry to the Mountain State Fair!

Friday, September 15:

Hunger Action Day

Wear orange - the color of hunger awareness - and raise awareness for the issue of hunger here in WNC with your friends, coworkers, and community circles.

Hops for Hunger:

September Brewery Partners

Check out these Pints with Purpose!

This month, you can make a difference for someone needing food by enjoying a local beer! Our friends at 12 Bones Brewing and Appalachian Mountain Brewing are designating one of their delicious beers as their Pint with Purpose, where every beer sold in September helps provide FOUR MEALS we can get to our neighbors right now!

12 Bones Brewing will be donating $1 of every pint of Coastal Grandmother Kölsch, and Appalachian Mountain Brewery is donating $1 for every pint of their Spoaty Oaty Pale Ale!

Thank you to these Hops for Hunger brewery partners for taking action in September to help feed WNC families!


Get Ready for MANNA Day at the Mountain State Fair!

Sponsored by Ingles Markets

We CAN Fight Hunger

Wednesday, September 13!

It's that time of year - the Mountain State Fair is back, and with it, one of our favorite food drives of the year!

Get your cans ready:

On Wednesday, September 13, bring 5 cans of food to donate to MANNA and get free admission to the Mountain State Fair!

Last year, fair goers donated over 17,000 pounds of canned goods, and this year, we hope to collect even more! Tell your friends and neighbors, and help us have a record-breaking year at the Fair!

Thank you to everyone who helps make this major effort possible - Ingles Markets, the Mountain State Fair, the WNC Ag Center, our incredible volunteers, and everyone who brings cans to donate!

Need ideas on what to bring? We could really use the following items:

  • Canned meats, like tuna and chicken
  • Canned fruits and vegetables (low sodium and low sugar is great!)
  • Soups, stews, and other "meals in a can"
  • Cans with pop tops that are easy to open


Coming Monday, October 23

Tickets on Sale September 11

Mark your calendars and get ready to buy your tickets for MANNA’s 22nd Annual Empty Bowls. This beloved community gathering is MANNA’s biggest fundraiser of the year and helps put meals on the table for the 160,000 neighbors a month who are turning to MANNA for emergency food support right now.


22nd Annual Empty Bowls 

Monday, October 23, 2023

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Asheville-Biltmore 

115 Hendersonville Road

Asheville, North Carolina 28803 

$45 ticket for one adult

$10 kid's package

$30 pets package

Tickets will be on sale September 11 at noon at:



Feds Feed Families:

The WNC Veterans Administration Community Raises Astounding 26,000 lbs of Food!

Over the month of July, the Feds Feed Families campaign and First Annual Mountain Cup Challenge between the Western North Carolina VA Health Care System and Mountain Home Health Care System in Tennessee took place. The different service areas of the VA competed against each to collect food to directly benefit neighbors in WNC and Tennessee.

Through this, MANNA and other organizations in WNC were the recipients of a grand total of 26,566 lbs of food! We were thrilled to be a beneficiary and immediately put the food collected to good use in creating Emergency Food Assistance boxes for our neighbors, which includes veterans impacted by food insecurity.

Thank you to the entire VA community for the tremendous support of our mission! We look forward to cheering you on in taking home the Mountain Cup next year, and our ongoing partnership to feed families across WNC!

Donor Highlight:

Dollar General Store 2782, Hendersonville, NC

We're happy to share this food donor highlight from our community partner, Gale Hoots from Welcome Table Hope UMC, who picks up food donations directly from our Dollar General Store retail partner in Hendersonville:

"Meet Jeff Diamond, He is the manager of Dollar General on Spartanburg Hwy in Hendersonville. Since March, 2023, this store has partnered with MANNA by donating foods that are near expiration. HOPE United Methodist agreed to partner with Dollar General by accepting these donations. I really enjoy working with Jeff as he is so happy to be a part of this ministry. He usually calls me once a week and we arrange a pickup time. The items we get from Dollar General help supplement our MANNA offerings. Jeff is always happy to hear how our neighbors enjoyed these foods. He truly loves that this food is not being wasted by discarding it but giving it to individuals that really need it. I love this program and wish more stores would come alongside."

Total pounds donated since March 2023: 1,317 pounds

Thank you to our friends at Dollar General for participating in our Retail Donation Program, and supporting dedicated partners like Welcome Table Hope UMC!

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

  • The Beattie Foundation

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

  • Flavor 1st Growers & Packers
  • Foggy Bottoms
  • Ingles Distribution Center
  • JGL Produce
  • JWJ Produce
  • Legacy Produce
  • MilkCo
  • Paul Collins Produce
  • Ripe Revival Produce
  • Society of St. Andrews
  • T & J Produce

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

August 2023: 174,749 lbs. of food donated.

Thank you, Ingles Markets, for partnering with us in our efforts to end hunger in WNC!

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

  • Granny's Kitchen Restaurant + Catering
  • Shell Oil Company Matching Gift
  • Zoe Dental

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

  • Uprise Pro Wrestling Event

Did You Know...

Charitable Gift Calculator

Did You Know… MANNA has a charity gift annuity calculator to see how a charitable gift can benefit you.

There's a way for you to support MANNA FoodBank and feel confident that you have dependable income in your retirement years. You can do this with a charitable gift annuity.

This type of donation can provide you with regular payments for life and allow MANNA to further our mission. You can also qualify for a variety of tax benefits depending on how you fund your gift.

To use the charity gift annuity calculator and see how this type of gift can benefit you, please visit: https://plannedgiving.mannafoodbank.org/charitable-gift-annuities

If you would like to learn more about alternative ways to give, email Chad Conaty, Director of Philanthropic Engagement, or call 828-299-3663.


MANNA FoodBank and Ingles Markets have been filling plates together for more than 30 years. Ingles Markets, thank you for your steadfast partnership!

Feed Hope. Fight Hunger.

Thank you for supporting the work we do and for supporting neighbors in need. Together, we can end hunger in Western North Carolina.

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 nonprofit 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, and receive 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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