A MANNA volunteer helps sort salad dressings by expiration date.

(December 2023)

FRESH NEWS January 2024

Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank



Let's take a look back on a year that proved to have the highest need in our 40 year history.


After months of hard work, we are excited to share a new tool for finding food easily in our service area.

And don't miss:

  • Did You Know...
  • Recognitions + Gratitude

Host a Food Drive

Join the 15th Annual Student Food Drive this upcoming February.

Introducing the Food Finder

A New Online Tool to Find Food Fast

It is with great excitement that we introduce our new Food Finder Tool.

This online resource, now on our website, aims to better connect neighbors in need with our partner network of pantries, meal providers, and other nonprofits committed to people facing hunger in the region. 

The tool is first meant to be easy to use for our neighbors (both on desktop and mobile). Enter your address and you are presented with a handful of available partners. The tool also provides options to filter results by distance, open days and hours, and various amenities including wheelchair access and Wi-Fi.

Not only does this tool help neighbors in need, but it provides incredible value to our partners. Often, our partners' primary focus is on providing food and resources to neighbors, while staying up to date with web development is simply out of reach. The Food Finder ultimately enables our partners to have an easily manageable web presence for free.

The Food Finder Tool is designed to enhance the efficiency of the partner network by centralizing information on food distribution points, pantries, and assistance programs. By leveraging the collective strength of our partners, we aim to provide ongoing outreach and support to anyone in WNC who might be facing a grocery gap. 

"Our partner network is the backbone of our efforts to combat hunger in Western North Carolina. Together, we form a united front against food insecurity," says Dr. Claire Neal, CEO at MANNA. "The Food Finder tool is a testament to our commitment to empowering our partners while also streamlining access to food resources for our neighbors who need our help." 


Watch this walk-through of the new Food Finder.

To underscore the collaborative nature of this initiative, we are calling on you, our community members, businesses, and organizations to actively share the Food Finder Tool within your networks. By amplifying awareness of this resource, we hope to strengthen the reach of our partner network and ensure that no one in the region goes hungry. 


"Our partner network is an invaluable force in the fight against hunger,” says Neal. “Through collective efforts, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of those in need." 


To explore the Food Finder Tool and learn more about MANNA's extensive partner network dedicated to hunger relief in Western North Carolina, please visit mannafoodbank.org/where-to-get-help/


15th Annual

Student Food Drive

We are excited to announce the 15th annual Student Food Drive! 

In Western North Carolina, at least 1 in 4 children experience food insecurity. MANNA FoodBank and our network of partner agencies need help and invite your school to join us in the fight against hunger!

The Student Food Drive will take place during the month of February and all food collected will be distributed to food pantries in your area. This community wide food drive is one of the most important and exciting events MANNA coordinates each year. It is a wonderful opportunity for students in our area to be involved in their communities, educated about food insecurity and nutrition, and united in a common cause. The Student Food Drive also provides the chance for WNC schools to engage in a little healthy competition!  

Are you part of a school community that might be interested in participating? We invite you to join us, and sign up at the link below!


Save the Date:

Antique Valuation Day

What's In Your Attic?

On Friday, February 16, join MANNA and our friends and partners in hunger relief at Brunk Auctions for a one-day Antiques Roadshow-style event!

This ticketed event will give you an opportunity to have your precious family heirlooms and other treasures valued by the experts at Brunk Auctions, while also supporting our mission to provide hunger relief to more people across WNC than ever.

Stayed tuned for ticket sales, and more information to come in the coming week! 


A Look Back at 2023

A Year of Unprecedented Need and Support

What a year! In 2023, we proudly served the highest number of individuals in our 40-year history.

We recently released our 2023 Annual Report, which includes many eye-opening statistics. During the 2023 fiscal year, we distributed over 20 million pounds of food, which is the equivalent of 17.5 million meals for neighbors in need. On average, that's 137,169 people a month. (And this isn't including the later months of the year, which proved to be some of the highest in MANNA's history).

Thank you all for your unwavering support in making a significant impact on hunger in our community. We couldn't do it without you.

As one of the directors here says, “When you walk around this building, you can’t help but see what’s right in this world.” Thank you to the countless volunteers who have given so much of their time. Thank you to the people who have given of food and financial support. Thank you to our drivers and order pickers who wake up early to ensure the food makes it across the 16 counties of Western North Carolina. Thank you to our partner network, who are the ones on the ground, putting food on our neighbors’ shelves. You all are what’s right in this world.

Thank You To Our 2023 Food Donors

With our food purchasing costs up and overall food donations down, we can't stress enough how vitally important these donations are to our work and the neighbors we serve across 16 counties, including the Qualla Boundary.

We'd like to thank our top food donors of 2023:

1 Million Pounds+

  • Ingles Markets (Reclaim, Distribution Center and Store level)
  • Wal-Mart

Retailers and Grocers, 250K Lbs. and over:

  • Food Lion
  • Publix
  • Sam's Club

Local Farms, Produce Packers &Growers, 250K Lbs. and over:

  • Flavor 1st
  • Foggy Bottom Orchards/Allen & Sheree King
  • Paul Collins Produce

Retailers and Grocers, 100K-250K lbs.

  • Aldi
  • Dollar General
  • Trader Joe's
  • Whole Foods

Local Farms, Produce Packers &Growers, 50-250K Lbs.

  • JW Johnson/JGL Produce
  • Lipman Family Farms
  • Quality First Produce
  • Society of St. Andrews 
  • Apple Ridge Farms
  • Bright Farms

Processors, 100k or more lbs.

  • MilkCo
  • Arcadia Dairy

Retailers and Grocers, 10K-100K lbs.

  • Fresh Market
  • Harris Teeter
  • Target
  • Canteen
  • Chic fil-A
  • Big Lots

Local Farms, Produce Packers &Growers, 10K -50kLbs.

  • Farside Farms-Eggs
  • Flavor Full Farms
  • Hickory Nut Gap Farms
  • Legacy Produce
  • Tractor Food & Farms

Other businesses 20K lbs or more:

  • Transylvania Vocational Services
  • Dover Inc.
  • Annie's Bakery
  • City Bakery
  • Bimbo 
  • Flowers Bakery
  • Dove's Fresh Market
  • Buncombe County Schools


Other Food Bank donations:

  • Metrolina Food Bank
  • Second Harvest FB of Middle Tennessee
  • America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia
  • Food Bank of Central Florida
  • Food Bank of Central Pennsylvania

We'd like to thank the following Foundations for their support of our food distribution efforts in 2023:

  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation
  • Impact Health
  • The Leon Levine Foundation
  • The McMichael Family Foundation
  • The Midgard Foundation
  • Morgan Stanley Foundation
  • Oak Foundation USA
  • Pisgah Investments Foundation, Inc.
  • The Louis & Harold Price Foundation
  • Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc.
  • David A. and Susan H. Schoenholz Foundation
  • Sunshine Now Foundation
  • David Tepper Charitable Foundation, Inc.
  • United Way of Henderson County
  • Walmart Foundation
  • Walnut Cove Members Association

We'd like to thank the following Corporate Champions for stepping forward to help our neighbors access food in 2023:

  • Bank of America
  • Mast General Store
  • Ingles Markets
  • Publix Supermarkets
  • Twin Subs Inc - Jersey Mike's
  • Harrah's Cherokee Casino
  • The Biltmore Company

We'd like to thank the following Food Drives for going above and beyond in their efforts in 2023:

  • National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive
  • Student Food Drives
  • VA Medical Center Food Drive

Did You Know...

You Can Feed WNC through A Will and Testament

Are you considering placing MANNA in your will?

What does a will do?

  • Names the executor or personal representative of your estate
  • Gives your property to those you choose, including gifts to nonprofit organizations
  • Sets up trusts to save on taxes and provide financial management
  • Names a guardian for minor children, or caregivers for pets
  • Sets guidelines for distributions if you and your spouse pass away at the same time

Details for Professional Advisors & Sample Language:

Legal name: MANNA FoodBank, Inc.

Federal tax ID number: 58-1514800

Location: 627 Swannanoa River Road Asheville, NC 28805

Sample language: I give, devise, and bequeath to MANNA FoodBank, Inc. in Asheville, NC, Tax Identification Number 58-1514800, the sum of $ (or state percentage or fraction of the estate) to be used for its general purposes. 

To learn more about establishing a will please click here: https://plannedgiving.mannafoodbank.org/wills-and-living-trusts or contact Director of Philanthropic Engagement, Chad Conaty at cconaty@mannafoodbank.org or via phone at 828 774-5910. 


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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