Dear Manna Supporter,

I drafted this letter on International Women's Day, surrounded by men and women wearing red to mark the progress toward gender equality, overcome remaining obstacles, and celebrate the unique accomplishments of women.  The day before that, Manna celebrated "Hear the Maryland Crunch" Day by biting into apples  to mark National School Breakfast week. The entire month is also National Nutrition Month and we've participated in local and national conferences to advance standards of health and well-being.  All these celebrations encourage us to learn about important issues, but you may wonder what they have to do with Manna.

Many of you know about Manna because of the first pillar our mission-food distribution.  Sharing food has been the foundation of our efforts to end hunger since we were founded by the community in 1983. We also have built our programs around the second pillar of education, as we help participants shop and cook healthy on a budget.  We also help supporters like you be aware of hunger-related issues. The third pillar of our mission-advocacy-is one that taken on new importance with the adoption of Manna's 2017-2020 strategic plan.  We know that creating a Hunger Free Montgomery County, one where all people at all times have access to good food, means more than just the giving and receiving of food or learning how to read labels.  People turn to us because they are not earning enough money, like the 20% of female-headed households living below the poverty line in Montgomery County.  They turn to us because they are struggling with health epidemics like diabetes and obesity.  More and more they turn to us seeking guidance for how to contribute to a community where all of us live in dignity.  For all these reasons, Manna advocates.

Our Breaking Bread initiative encourages conversations among those giving and receiving food, so that together we can create new solutions to the causes of hunger. Our SNAP (Food Stamps) outreach has helped more than 560 households apply for benefits so they can purchase their own food at the stores and farmers markets of their choosing.  More than $75,000 in benefits have been added to family budgets and the local economy.  We've also been a strong champion of the County Food Security Plan, released in February by County Executive Ike Leggett.  Key to the creation of the plan was listening to those w ho explained why they need to turn to groups like Manna. Those same groups also had to evaluate what works and what doesn't in building food security.
A delegation from Maryland Hunger Solutions met with Rep. Jamie Raskin & his staff to discuss protecting federal nutrition programs.
Advocacy sometimes conjures images of high-powered lobbyists wheeling and dealing. In reality it also means creating spaces and places for civil conversation, filling out application forms, facilitating meetings, and, yes, visiting with politicians.  Those are not always glamorous images, but they are important because each builds the power of the community.    

Thanks for being part of our community,

Heroes Against Hunger Reception Tickets Available

This third annual event, presented by Giant Food, celebrates the extraordinary contributions of our leaders in our community who are making a difference in the fight against hunger. 
The reception will feature a social hour, heavy hors d'oeuvres, & a meaningful program.  
Tickets now available, with Early Bird pricing through 03/15.
Dine Out to Support Manna
Dine out on Thursday, March 16 and help support Manna Food Center's mission to end hunger in Montgomery County. Stop by The Bench kitchen, bar and lakeside patio for breakfast, lunch and dinner to enjoy locally sourced American cuisine, refreshing libations and indoor-outdoor television viewing. 
On March 16, The Bench will donate 10% of all food sales to Manna Food Center. The Bench is located at 9751 Washingtonian Boulevard inside Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center at RIO Washingtonian Cente r. 

Upcoming  Food Drives
April 29th - 30th, 2017; Students can earn SSL Hours!

Montgomery County Muslim Foundation (MCMF),  a charitable organization engaged in eliminating hunger from Montgomery County, is partnering with Manna to collect non-perishable food items at select Giant Food Stores across the area.  We are looking for team leaders, as well as volunteers, who can assist in collecting food items at the following Giant Food stores. Students can earn SSL hours.   Click here to volunteer.
Cabin John Giant
Georgetown Square Giant
Traville Giant
Goshen Crossing Giant
Montrose Crossing Giant
Rockville Town Center Giant
Shady Grove Giant 

Muddy Branch Giant
Flower Hill Giant
Diamond Square Giant
Potomac Promenade Giant
Kentlands Giant
Germantown Commons Giant

Other Upcoming Food Drives:
30th Anniversary Ride On Food Drive 
April 23-29: Bring a canned good to any Ride On Bus for a free ride

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive 
May 13: Look for a collection bag in your mailbox.

New Program: Manna Mobile Kitchen

This summer Manna is adding a new vehicle to our fleet and it's no another box truck.  We're taking a retired, 36-foot school bus and giving it new life  as  a mobile cooking classroom. The Manna Mobile Kitchen will offer community members hands-on education around creative & wholesome food preparation. 
In addition to augmenting Manna's educational programming, the MMK will enhance Manna's capacity to transport nutritious foods to those who need i t most. The vehicle
will be retrofitted to allow Manna staff to host pop-up pan tries in currently under-served neighborhoods.

The Community Foundation in Montgomery County has provided generous starter funds for this exciting project.  If you'd like to contribute to getting our bus on the road, designate MMK in your  donation here.

Vote to Nickname the Bus & Enter to Win! 
Have a fun idea for what we can nickname the Manna Mobile Kitchen?  Share your name or vote for one of ours.  One lucky entrant, drawn at random, will win 2 tickets to Manna's Heroes Against Hunger Reception on Thursday, March 30th (a $150 value).  Vote before 03/21 to be entered to win!  Winner will be notified on 03/22.  

Group Volunteers Needed!

For more information or to volunteer your group, click here.
A Heartfelt Thank You to Our Donors
We extend a warm and sincere THANK YOU to all of the organizations and businesses 
that have donated food and funds between December 16, 2016 - February 15, 2017. 

Without your incredible generosity, we would not be able to feed families in our community. 

Amber Commons
Anytime Fitness
Architectural Ceramics
Asbury Communities
Avison Young
B & L Associates, LLP
Beacon Place Apartments/McShea
Bernstein Management Corporation
Bethesda Co-Op
Bethesda Marriott
Blair G. Ewing Center
BLH Technologies, Inc.
Brookdale Olney
Brooke Grove E.S.
Brookmont Church
Garrett & Smith Companies
Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church
Canon US Life Sciences
Capital Area Food Bank
Career Opportunities Group, Inc.
Catherine Allie
Chazin & Company
Chevy Chase Village
Chinese Culture and Community Service    Center, Inc.
Christ Episcopal Church
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
Church of the Messiah
Church of the Redeemer
City of Gaithersburg
City of Rockville
Clark Construction Group, LLC
Cloverly E.S.
Cobec Consulting, Inc.
Colesville Presbyterian Church
Consero Group LLC
Corner Market & Pharmacy
Cresthaven E.S.
David S Greene LLC
DC Metro Sai Samsthan
DecisionPath Consulting
Department of Finance-
   Montgomery County
Dr. David Schlactus, DMD
Eastern M.S.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
Emory Grove United Methodist Church
ESAC/Enterprise Science and Computing, Inc.
EU Services
Faith United Methodist Church
Fellowship Baptist Church of Silver Spring
Food Lion Charitable Foundation
Forest Oak M.S.
Foster Medical Care
Friendship Heights Village Center
Gaithersburg H.S.
Giant Food, Inc.
Girl Scout Nations Capital Brownie #669
Girl Scout Troop #2842
Girl Scout Troop #5027
Great American Restaurants
Greater Farmland Civic Association
Grosvenor Park I
H.A.M. Schutte Charitable Fund
Habitat For Humanity
Harris Teeter
Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness
Hermon Presbyterian Church
HMS Host Foundation Inc.
Hughes United Methodist Church
I. M. Systems Group, Inc.
Intellor Group
Ira & MaryJo Sherman Family Foundation
JBG Companies
Jewish War Vet. Ladies Aux.
Journey's Crossing Congregation
Kadia's Kitchen LLC
Kaiser Permanente Gaithersburg 
   Medical Center
Kehilat Shalom Congregation
Kensington Baptist Church
Kensington Parkwood E.S.
KidsCo Jr.
Kol Shalom Congregation
Lakelands Park M.S.
Larry E. Paul Certified Financial Planner
Lester Poretsky Family Foundation
Lions Club of Olney Fdn, Inc.
LKC Technology
MCPS Nutrition Services
Medstar Montgomery Medical Center
Mid-Atlantic Gleaning Network
Modmarket LLC
Montgomery Community Club
Montgomery County
Montgomery County Fleet 
   Management Services
Montgomery County Office of Human Rights
Montgomery County Road Runners
Montgomery County TV Inc.
Moyer & Sons Moving & Storage, Inc.
New America Financial
Optimbuy Consulting LLC
Otsuka America Pharmeceutical, Inc.
Payroll Network
Penzey Spice Company
Potomac Community Village
Proflex Physical Therapy
Quince Orchard H.S.
Quince Orchard Medical Center
R.W. Borchardt Consulting, LLC
Redland Baptist Church
Redland M.S.
Refuge Church of Christ
RegenxBio Inc.
Response Tech
RFI Foundation, Inc.
Richard Montgomery HS Choral Program
Robert Pence Remodeling, Inc.
Rockville Town Square
Ronald McNair E.S.
Rossmoor Ceramic Crafters
Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation
Sandy Spring Friends School
Scientific Consulting Group
Scientific Society
Seneca Whetstone Ladies Book Club
Seven Locks Baptist Church
Shanghai Limited Partnership
Share Our Strength
Sherman Early Childhood Center at Har Shalom
Silver Spring Presbyterian Church
Sligo Creek E.S.
Snyder Cohn, PC
Sodexo Foundation
Somerset House
St. Francis Episcopal Church
St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church
St. Jane de Chantal School
St. Paul United Methodist Church
St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church
State of Maryland
Stephen Knolls School
Stepping Stones Shelter
Strategic Analysis Inc.
Sugarloaf Mountain Works, Inc.
Sumner Highlands/McShea
Sunflower Bakery
Sunrise Assisted Living of Rockville
TD Charitable Foundation
Temple Emanuel
The Brick Companies
The Carmax Foundation
The Cleaning Authority
The Community Foundation, 
   National Capital Region
The Department of Professional 
   Growth Systems in MCPS
The Emmes Corporation
The Goddard School, Gaithersburg
The Moshman Charitable Fdn., Inc.,
The Partan Foudation
The Sulica Fund
Thomas S. Wootton H.S.
Thomas W. Pyle M.S.
Trader Joe's
True Buddha Temple
Twinbrook Baptist Church
Twinbrook Community Church
Ulliman Schutte Construction, LLC
Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville
United Healthcare
United Methodist Women  Jerusalem-
   Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church
United Way of Charles County, Inc.
United Way of Greater Knoxville
Universities at Shady Grove SAS Student Staff
Viasat, Inc.
Village of Martin's Additions
Virginia Tech Dietetic Interns
VIVA Creative
Voortman Cookies
Walter Johnson H.S.
Washington International Japanese Church
Washington Sikh Center
Waters Landing E.S.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
Westat, Education Studies Group
Wheaton H.S.
Whole Foods Market
Wine and More
Woodley Garden Club
World Tavern Poker
Wraase Family Foundation
If we accidentally missed your business or organization in our list, please email   Therese Lampe  and we will make the correction in our next list.  We wish we could also list each of the individuals who contribute to Manna; thank you all again for your support!    
If you're interested in donating food, making a financial contribution, or volunteering, 
please contact us at :  
Manna Food Center
9311 Gaither Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877 

Remember to support Manna through your workplace giving campaign.
United Way # 8846 - CFC # 23028 

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