FRESH NEWS June 2020
Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
Although our beloved Blue Jean Ball was cancelled this year…
Hunger Is Not.
As food insecurity rises across WNC due to the pandemic, more people are turning to MANNA than ever before in our history. More than ever, those we serve need the support this event would have provided.

Even pre-COVID-19, more than 100,000 people in WNC were facing an empty plate throughout the year. MANNA and our partner network have seen an immediate and staggering increase – well over 60% – in the number of people suddenly not being able to buy the food they need. The need is deep, and persistent.

It is only with your help that MANNA has been able to meet this dramatic need thus far.
About MANNAfesting Hope:
One Ticket. Nine Families Fed.
MANNAfesting Hope is a simple fundraising campaign to continue providing food and hope to the growing number of people who need our help.

We are asking our Blue Jean Ball enthusiasts, and ALL those who want to help our neighbors in crisis, to donate to MANNA in the amount of what one ticket to Blue Jean Ball would have been: just $95.

Your gift can help MANNAfest Hope for our community by providing enough food for over nine family food boxes.

(You can donate securely online at, or send a check to MANNA with MANNAfesting Hope in the notes.)
Event + Culinary Sponsors:
The Backbone of Blue Jean Ball
Event Sponsors: Supporting MANNA even without the Ball
The following Event Sponsors have generously agreed to fulfill their sponsorships for the 2020 Blue Jean Ball, despite us no longer being able to come together in person. MANNA is humbled by and grateful for the continued support of these individuals and businesses.

Culinary Sponsors: Always Stepping Up to Feed WNC
The following Culinary Sponsors committed to generously donating their creative, delicious food and providing some amazing staff for the 2020 Blue Jean Ball. Our Culinary Partners remain the heart and soul of Blue Jean Ball and MANNA’s other Signature Events. Many were hit hard during the shutdown and are now open for dine-in service, or currently providing takeout and delivery, and we urge you to support them by visiting .

We Know What Hope Can Do.
We have seen it in action throughout this unthinkable set of crises through generous acts of kindness from people like you, across our communities. You are helping to create hope for so many.

Hope grows from the moments of gratitude, when someone visits a pantry or market, needing food for the first time, and they can take home milk, eggs, and fresh foods.

Hope is when those who have so very little themselves give back, in any way they can, because they know what hopelessness feels like.

Hope is what fills the face of a child who gets the surprise of a sweet treat - something so simple, but out of reach when your family is struggling just for the basics.
Moments of hope are created when we take simple actions to help each other, even if we've never met.
Neighbors Feeding Neighbors: Stories of Hope

Along the intersection of the North Toe River and Highway 226, hope is as abundant as the trees for which the town is named. Here in Spruce Pine, off of Roan Road is Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, one of eight MANNA partner agencies in Mitchell County. Amy and Allen Hoilman have worked tirelessly for the past two years to grow their food ministry to meet the dynamic needs in their community.

With your help, SINCE MARCH...
More than 100,000 people have accessed our network of food providers and received much-needed emergency food support.
More than 6 million pounds of food have been distributed across WNC. That's enough for over 5 million meals .
MANNA Food Helpline agents have assisted over 3,000 households with accessing food resources both in and outside of MANNA's network.
It is only with your support that this is possible, and as we continue to address this major crisis, families across the mountains need your help more than ever.
The MANNA FoodBank Order Pick team prepares tens of thousands of pounds of fresh and shelf stable food for delivery and pick up every day. This food is then delivered to communities through our partners and markets across 16 counties of WNC, feeding thousands of people each week.
The Teams Behind the Numbers:
MANNA Staff are giving it their all, every day, to keep hope alive for thousands in WNC.
We don't often highlight the important work that our staff is also doing on a daily basis, because it is just part of who we are as an organization. At a time like this, we feel especially compelled to highlight our incredible Operations Department, who are putting in long hours and going above and beyond to deliver not just food, but hope, to thousands.

The Operations Department consists of four important teams: Order Pick, Transportation, Distribution, and Reclaim. The care and hard work that goes into every pound of food is through the focused and determined efforts by our dedicated staff. Each day, this group of men and women make it their mission to get as much food as needed to the people of WNC.

With over 200 partners, and more than 30 regular markets and express deliveries each month, MANNA's operations are a testament to efficiency.

Here's a couple recent highlights that illustrate the incredibly hard work of "Team Ops".
With the massive increase in distribution due to the pandemic, this Order Pick team recently hit a hope-inspiring new daily record: over 103,000 lbs of food packed and ready to ship , thanks to support from a few additional team mates.
The Transportation team obliterated any previous food delivery records by delivering over 90,000 lbs of food in a single day...twice in one week .
This incredible team of men and women are driven by the clear need for food in our region, and continue to deliver hope all across WNC every day.

While these are a few of the teams who help MANNAfest Hope every day, there is so much more that happens at MANNA, thanks to dedicated staff, that we will continue to highlight throughout the month of MANNAfesting Hope on our social media channels. So stay tuned!
Partners: Growing Hope Daily MANNA's network of partner agencies deliver food and hope to thousands every week.
We hear often from our partners about the tears of relief from people seeking help. These tears are not just a deep emotional expression of relief, but also a realization that people are here to help. That is where hope grows.

“A gentleman with tears in his eyes told me, very emotionally, how much it meant to him and his family that we are able to provide food for them.”

The incredible 200+ nonprofit partners MANNA works with to deliver food to every county in WNC is built on compassion and community. Each partner is different, but one thing is common: the people working and volunteering with these organizations are lovingly dedicated to ensuring plates in their community are full, now and for the long road of recovery ahead.

“Last week, a man in his 60s drove up and asked if he could get a food box. He had never asked for any kind of help in his life, but had been laid off from his job due to COVID-19. He said he and his wife had reached a point where they would have to decide between buying her medication, or buying food. They decided on the medicine. Then someone at the local pharmacy told him about our pantry. He came to see us and we loaded his car with food. He cried. We told him to come again as needed. THIS is why we are here.”
Hope through Hard Work:
MANNA's incredible volunteer community is helping to keep food on our tables.
During this ongoing crisis, it is necessary for us to stretch every resource to provide the additional food our community needs. None of this would be possible without our volunteers. When COVID hit, we urged our faithful weekly volunteers to stay home and stay safe as many are in a higher risk category.

Therefore, we put out a call to the community, and kind, lower risk volunteers showed up…and are still showing up. We look forward to the day when our regular volunteers can safely come back and join us, but meanwhile we deeply appreciate every volunteer assisting us during this unprecedented and ongoing crisis.

The response from the community, when the entire nation has experienced this crisis simultaneously, has been nothing short of astounding.

We continue to have volunteers show up to support the major increase is MANNA's activities, committed to providing food with hope and dignity the community that we all so dearly love. The dedication of our community means that we have not had to cancel a single volunteer shift since the pandemic. And this directly supports the daily food distribution work of MANNA's staff and volunteer driving team. Volunteers are a vital part of making it all possible.
CORRECTION: In our last issue of Fresh News, we incorrectly identified one of our supporters. We would like to correct that error, and have listed our dear friends at Pisgah Investments Foundation below.
COVID-19 Rapid Response Supporters
A special thank you to the following foundations for supporting our COVID-19 Rapid Response:

  • Z Smith Reynolds Foundation
  • The Duke Endowment

  • Pisgah Investments Foundation

  • TD Charitable Foundation
We would like to thank the following Corporate Partners for their support in the fight against hunger.
  • A Rooter King
  • A&R Accounting Tax
  • Amcor Foundation
  • Ameriprise Financial
  • Ameritech Slope Constructors
  • Asheville City Soccer Club
  • AVL Technologies
  • Bay Equity Home Loans
  • Bellagio Bistro
  • Beverly-Hanks
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Britt & Tilson Glass Co. Inc
  • Duke Energy
  • Everyday Oil
  • First Horizon Bank
  • Food Lion
  • Gaia Herbs
  • Globus Medical
  • Granny's Kitchen Restaurant & Catering
  • IPM Association Services
  • Jacob Holm Industries
  • Jus' Running
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Mike's Heating & Cooling
  • Parsec Financial
  • Peterson Insurance Group/Erie Insurance Group
  • Pine Gate Renewables
  • Publix
  • Sensibilities Day Spa
  • Smart Products
  • Southeastern Grocers/Bi-Lo
  • State Employees Credit Union
  • Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • TruPoint Bank
  • Tryon Title Agency
  • Turkish Towel Company
  • Webb Investments Services
  • Welcome to Mars
Involve, Educate, and UNITE
MANNA FoodBank remains strongly committed to standing alongside all those united in seeking positive change, equity and justice for all. 
Your Voice Matters:
Advocate for those experiencing poverty.

MANNA's mission is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger, and an important part of this mission is advocating for those living in and experiencing the effects of poverty.

As a non-partisan organization, dedicated to sharing information about the issues affecting the people we serve together, MANNA does not endorse political parties or candidates. We simply ask people 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.

If you are interested in receiving advocacy-related emails from MANNA FoodBank, please click the button below. By clicking here, you are signing up to receive information from MANNA about ways you can use your voice, and actions you can take, to help work towards our vision of a hunger-free Western North Carolina.
Give. Volunteer. Advocate.