Dear Manna supporter,

The joy of the December holidays started for me at Daly Elementary School this past week where I, and about 75 other impressed adults, were serenaded by the adorable, and talented, kindergarten and pre-k students.  You may have read about the work of Daly staff in the cover article of the most recent Bethesda magazine Hope Lives Here. The occasion for the performance was the launch of an exciting collaborative led by  Family Services, Inc .

Thriving Germantown is a community hub that coordinates care for low-income families and serves as a central clearing house to make sure health and social needs students and their parents are identified and addressed.  Manna Food Center is a proud partner in the collaborative along with groups like Interfaith Works and Identity.  Everyone gathered for the event was inspired by the VIPs, including MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith, who reminded us that ALL students, not just "most" or "many", deserve the best education possible.  Singing their school's theme song, the little voices rang out and pantomimed that they were willing to do their part: 
             1 is for my family.
            2 is for my teacher and me.
            3 means I will do my best, and
            4 means I am a Daly success.  
            I'm Daly success 'cause I do my best.  I'm a Daly, Daly, Daly success.

At first my reaction was a bit Grinch-like: "Ah, if it were that simple... If we all just did our best every family would be fed.  Every child would learn and achieve.  Every community would flourish."  It is tempting to think that the complex issues of poverty and hunger cannot be overcome, but the children inspired me. The innocence and potential of the students lifted my spirits.  They came in all different colors, a surprising number of wiggly shapes, and with emerging personalities.  One young boy had his hands stuck in his pockets like he was just waiting for the bus; one girl was ready to be the center of attention; most of the kids were a bit wide-eyed as to who let in all these tall people into their cafeteria.  
In this month of December, I encourage you to focus on the hope that still exists in those kids at Daly.  Such hope is the heart of the end-of-year season.  Whether you are lighting candles, putting up your tree, or making a list of New Year's resolutions, be proud that our community is investing and innovating in efforts like Thriving Germantown.  Think of the simple and pure determination of those children.   While we can't be na├»ve about what faces us, we can keep hopeful like those wide eyed students. 

Manna Food Center is your partner in creating a community where all people-especially the children-can live in dignity.  We wish you and those you care about a happy end of 2017 and  thank you for your support all year long. 

Happy holidays,     Jackie
 Upcoming Food Drive... Sign Up Today

Volunteers sought to help staff a Food Drive during "MLK Jr. Weekend Food Drive" over the weekend of January 13th and 14th, 2018. 
Aug 15 Giant Food Drive
  • WHERE: Giant Stores across Montgomery Co.
  • WHEN: January 13th & 14th, 2018
  • TIME: Shifts are 11am-2pm & 2pm-5pm, Saturday and Sunday.
  • WHAT: Volunteers will help promote the food drive at Giant grocery stores and collect food donations from customers.
We greatly appreciate you taking the time to volunteer and helping those at risk of hunger in Montgomery County .

VOLUNTEERS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 MUST BE ACCOMPANIED  BY AN ADULT THAT IS 21 OR OLDER.   Students can earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours.  

 Please click here for information and to sign up for a shift.  Please note that signing up for an available shift is your confirmation.  You will receive more information as we get closer to the scheduled date of volunteering.
And if you want to host your own Food Drive....
NEW: Food Drive Boxes!

Planning a food drive for your office, housing community or place of worship?  Utilize these new printed box to display in high-traffic areas and collect the healthy food donations!  

How to get them: Email us the details of your food drive (hosting organization, contact person, dates of drive, etc).  We will send you a Food & Funds Drive Toolkit with details about picking up the boxes from Manna's warehouse. 
 Blog: Join the Fight Against Childhood Hunger
Childhood hunger is something that hits deep in the heart of our society. 

According to the Frontline documentary   Poor Kids there are 14 million children currently living in poverty in the United States. Some of these children don't know where their next meal is coming from, or if they will have a place to live the next day. This film follows the story of several families each struggling to find a way to afford basic everyday needs. 

As future Registered Dietitians, we know that working to improve health and well-being through nutrition in our community is incredibly important. It was heartbreaking to find out how widespread and severe childhood hunger is. Thankfully there are organizations like Manna that are working ceaselessly to provide food to those in need. Having the opportunity to be a part of Manna for two weeks, we have experienced how dedicated they are to ending hunger in Montgomery County, especially for the children that live here.
Manna's mission is the create a hunger free zone in Montgomery County and their vision for the future is "nothing less than food security for all - where hunger no longer exists, as residents are self-sufficient and providing for themselves." We have seen the work that the employees, volunteers, and community contribute every day through food sorting, packing, cleaning, and distributing to get it to those who need it most. 

One of our favorite projects Manna currently operates is the Smart Snacks program for the children in the local community. Smart Snacks provides bags of food to over 2,800 children each week to bridge the weekend gap when they can't rely on school provided meals. The bags include whole grains, low sodium canned vegetables, lean meats, and healthier snack options so that these children can enjoy their weekends without worrying so much about their meals. We can all agree that children should never have to worry about when their next meal will be.
Combating hunger throughout the country is a large task, but an attainable one that begins with small steps. The best way to start is looking at ways you can help in your own community, and there are a lot of ways to contribute to the cause of ending hunger in Montgomery County. The Smart Sacks program is just one facet of Manna, and they are always in need of helping hands to carry out their everyday work. If you feel like you want to contribute to Manna's mission, but aren't quite sure where to start, check out this list of things Manna needs most!
Here are some ways that YOU can help :  
Donate money - Manna relies largely on charitable donations to stay in operation
Donate Time - Manna recruits both individuals and groups as volunteers  
Donate Food - F ind out which types of food are the most helpful to donate

By: Danielle Ferguson and Danny Turner  (Manna Interns)

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 October 16, 2017 - November 15, 2017. 

Without your generosity, we would not be able to feed families in our community. 
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
Benjamin Banneker M.S.
Bethesda Central Farmers' Market
Bethesda Co-Op
Bethesda E.S.
Bethesda Presbyterian Church
Beverly Farms E.S.
Box Associates Limited Partnership
Boy Scouts of America
Boyds Presbyterian
Bradley Hills E.S.
Brandies AZA #1519
Brookhaven E.S.
Brown Station E.S.
Burtonsville E.S.
Cabin John M.S.
Cannon Road E.S.
Capital Area Food Bank
Capt. James E. Daly E.S.
Carl Sandburg Learning Center
Charles Products, Inc.
Christ Episcopal Church
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
Church of The Redeemer
Church World Service, Inc.
City of Gaithersburg
City of Rockville
Clarksburg E.S.
Clarksburg H.S.
Clearspring E.S.
Clinton AME Zion Church
Col. E. Brooke Lee M.S.
Cold Spring E.S.
Color Me Mine Rockville
Community Foundation National Capital Region
Congregation Har Shalom
Daly Computers, Inc.
Dawsons Market
Diamond E.S.
Dr. Charles Drew E.S.
Dufief E.S.
Fallsmead E.S.
First Fruits Farm
Flora M. Singer E.S.
Fox Chapel E.S.
Fox Hills West Community
Franklin Schools
Gaithersburg Chapter #5358 of AARP
Galway E.S.
Garden Club of College Gardens
Georgetown Preparatory School
Georgetown Visitation Prep School
Giant Food
Goshen E.S.
Great American Restaurants
Greek Orthodox Church of St. George
Guggenheim Investments
Harmony Hills E.S.
Harris Teeter
Hermon Presbyterian Church
Highland View E.S.
Inter-Faith Chapel Mission Committee
Jen Family Charitable Trust
Joel Family Charitable Fund
Judith A. Resnick E.S.
Julius West M.S.
Kehilat Shalom Congregation
Kingsview M.S.
KS Kuts
Larry E. Paul Certified Financial Planner
Leisure World Lions Club
Living Faith Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church of St. Andrew
Luxmanor E.S.
MacroGenics, Inc.
Manor Homemakers Club
McLean School of Maryland
Meadow Hall E.S.
Medstar Montgomery Medical Center
Metro Maryland ARMA Chapter
Mill Creek Towne E.S.
Montgomery County
Montgomery County Public Libraries
Montgomery County Thrift Shop Board
Montgomery Faith Fellowship
Montgomery Knolls E.S.
Montgomery County Master Gardeners
Moskowitz Chiropractic
National Council of Jewish Women
New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church
NIST Child Care Center
Norman's Farm Markets
North Bethesda M.S.
Northwood H.S.
Norwood School
Oakland Terrace E.S.
Olney Farmers & Artists' Market
Olney Help
Olney Yoga & Wellness
Osher at Johns Hopkins University
Otsuka America Pharmeceutical, Inc.
Parkside Plaza Condominiums
Penzey Spice Company
People's Community Baptist Church
Peterson Management Company
Pine Crest E.S.
Piney Branch E.S.
Poolesville H.S.
Potomac E.S.
Potomac Wealth Advisors
Precision Doors and Hardware
Response Tech
Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, Inc.
Richard Montgomery H.S.
Ridgeview M.S.
Ritchie Park E.S.
Rockville Farmers' Market
Rockville H.S.
Rolling Terrace E.S.
Ronald McNair E.S.
Rosemont E.S.
S. Christa McAuliffe E.S.
Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
Sargent Shriver E.S.
Sherwood E.S.
Silver Spring Presbyterian Church
Sligo Creek E.S.
Sodexo Foundation, Inc
Spark M. Matsunaga E.S.
State of Maryland
Strawberry Knoll E.S.
Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-Op
TD Charitable Foundation
The 1966 Charitable Trust
The Black Student Union of MC
The Drescher Foundation
Tilden M.S.
Trader Joe's
Twinbrook Baptist Church
Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville
United Way of Rhode Island
Vantage Point West At Leisure World
Village of Martin's Additions
Walt Whitman H.S.
Walter Johnson H.S.
Watkins Mill H.S.
Westbrook E.S.
Westover E.S.
Wheaton H.S.
Whetstone E.S.
Whole Foods Market
Wilson Wims E.S.
Wolpoff Family Foundation, Inc.
Woodley Garden Club
Woodlin E.S.

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, funds, 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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