Dear Friend of Manna:  The month of February, with its cold winds & cloudy skies, isn't when we typically think of farming. But during this season of love, Manna celebrates how awesome local farmers exemplify the community spirit that makes ending hunger possible.

From the Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm building a hoop house to grow winter crops for us, to One Acre Farm holding fundraisers with its CSA ( Community Supported Agriculture, which provides customers the ability to receive high quality, fresh produce grown locally), to Rocklands Farm hauling food not fit for people but tasty to pigs, the agricultural community collaborates with us year round.  
For another cultural touchstone, let's not forget in this Black History Month that George Washington Carver was a biologist who helped create new markets for low-income sharecroppers.  At the time, cotton production was on the decline in the South; overproduction of a single crop had left many fields exhausted and barren. Carver suggested planting peanuts and soybeans, both of which could restore nitrogen to the soil, along with sweet potatoes. We suspect Dr. Carver would love that farmers are working to put food on the table of low-income neighbors.
We are all likely looking forward to the warmer months when farmers are growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables for sale.  Our Community Food Rescue network makes sure that surplus from farmers markets and crops gets shared throughout the community, as we work to #feedmorewasteless.  

The freshness that comes from locally grown produce makes it easier to love your veggies. Manna loves sharing tens of thousands of pounds with our participants.  This spring Manny will be on the road as a Pop Up pantry, sharing fresh produce to neighborhoods of high need.  What's not to love about that?
Celebrating 35 Years 
Manna Food Center's annual Heroes Against Hunger Awards Reception honors
leaders in our community who are making a difference in the fight against hunger.  We hope you can plan to join us on April 11th at the historic Fillmore, downtown Silver Spring.
In honor of this significant milestone, Manna will be hosting the largest Heroes
reception yet, with an anticipated attendance of 250+ community leaders.

Wednesday, April 11  5:30 - 8:00 PM
The Fillmore Silver Spring 

Congratulations to our 2018 Honorees:
Individual Hero:  Ellen Teller, 
Dir of Govt Affairs, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
Corporate Hero: 
Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.
Community Hero:  Mead Family Foundation
*Manna Food Center Legacy Award Presented to County Executive Isiah Leggett 

The 2018 reception will feature a beautiful venue, beer & wine reception, live music,
heavy hors d'oeuvres, festive atmosphere & meaningful program.
*confirmation pending 
Chicken Soup- It's not Just for the Soul
Cooking is like love - it should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

Yelba starts off a home cooked meal with ambiance. First, her home has to be clean. If she's going to put this fervor behind her work, she'll do it right. She then pours herself a glass of wine. Finally, puts on some music - and then the show begins.  Saturday's at the Mojica home is a food paradise. Even the simplest meals become a feast because she approaches her cooking with patience and love.

Cooking is a spiritual thing, a whirlwind of chopping, singing, stirring and dancing. Rarely is Yelba alone in the kitchen. Warmth exudes not only from her crockery,
but from the spirit and energy she brings to every food-filled endeavor. The kitchen is the gathering place in her home because Yelba is there. She brings all the enthusiasm, buoyed by her calming preparation process. Her children join her in the kitchen whenever they visit, eager to fill the air with amateur karaoke practice and laughter while the meal provides an aromatic backdrop until it is ready to eat.  

The most recent and popular food request was Sopa de Pollo. For non-Spanish speakers this translates to Chicken Soup - a staple dish in many households. Yelba often receives this request from her daughters because she puts "everything but the kitchen sink" into this soup - her own unique spin on an often simple meal. She starts with a whole raw chicken submerged in broth and lets that boil until the meat starts to fall from the bones. She adds yucca, chayote, cabbages, cilantro, and a handful of other ingredients. She cooks this in a massive pot on her stove top, one so large it has to sit on multiple burners. The trick to this particular chicken soup is to cook it slowly and evenly with a lot of seasoning; cumin, oregano, and thyme. It's like a long-term romance, developing more flavor and distinction with each passing minute.

Cooking can be an act of passion, a creative art, and an onslaught of joy. It's unrestricted and unlimited, imprecise and fun. But, at its base, cooking is giving. It's the gift of nourishment and the feeling of a full stomach. It's knowing that you and a loved one shared in a small experience together, be it your children, your parents, your neighbors, your friends, or your partner. This Valentine's day, as you share with those you love, consider a gift to Manna to help support the many ways we spread love every day.

Special thanks to Yelba Mojica for allowing Manna Food Center to interview her for this project.
MLK Jr. Community Service Food Drive Results
Thank yo u so much to all who shopped, volunteered, packed boxes and donated to help make ou r MLK Jr. Weekend of Service a huge success.  During the food drive on Saturday and Sunday,  we collected a whopping  22,142lbs of food and on Monday, we had a cohort of 30+ volunteers who helped over 2000 community members experience packing food boxes for our participants.  Here are a few pics of the weekend fun and the top 10 stores!  Thank you to our partners at Giant and the Montgomery County Volunteer Center for a weekend of service fit for a King.
Store Location
Kentlands 1942
Georgetown Square 1802
Bethesda Row West 1794
Neelsville Village Center 1712
Burtonsville 1398
Kingsview Village 1134
Montrose Crossing 895
Goshen Crossing 841
Rockville Town Center 831
Westfield Shoppingtown Wheaton 790

Bringing Love to the Table

It's February and so of course love is on everyone's mind. Here at Manna Food Center, love seems to always be in the air regardless of the day, month or season! One might think that as a food center, all that Manna could bring to the table is food. Well after working with Manna as a dietetic (nutrition) intern, I'm here to tell you that is not the case. Although Manna does an incredible job at getting good food to great people, the staff and volunteers of Manna also seem to specialize in spreading the love to each other and into their community as well.

            At the start of my very first day, I noticed that all Manna staff and volunteers strive to generate love at all times. Now make sure you're picturing the nervous, far away from home intern who had no idea what to expect this new community would be like (or how cold the temperature in the warehouse could get)! My boss, along with every other employee and volunteer I crossed paths with, greeted me with a warm smile and enthusiastic good morning. People were curious to learn where I was from and what I would like to do with my time at Manna. These all may seem like tiny things in black and white, but they hit home for me because not every work environment is like this. Not everyone cares who you are and what your goals with your time are. Not every boss will take the time to give you a tour and introduce you to every team member of their company, from the CEO to the volunteers, and make you feel like you've been there all along. Oh, and definitely not every boss will give you the clothes off of their back when they notice your flimsy cardigan isn't cutting it for warehouse work.

            The point of this Manna culture of love is that it makes Manna an enjoyable workplace. An enjoyable workplace increases the desire of the Manna crew to work hard and with each other. This loving, hardworking, team setting keeps caring and efficient ideas overflowing from our warehouse out into your community. We bring the love from our table to yours with innovative ideas like "Manny", our mobile kitchen, personalized boxes of food for special needs like diabetes, choice pantries that give you the power to choose your food, nutrition education and so much more. If you ever find yourself thinking that Manna is just a place to go to pick up food and then get out fast, I have a challenge for you. The next time you're at Manna, stay a while, ask us a question about our many other services, and feel the love!            

Erin Adams- Manna Intern
Available Volunteer Opportunities: 
Food Distribution
Volunteers help, Mon-Fri from 9am-3pm, pack and sort food, bag produce and meat, assist clients to their car, and take in food donations.
Must be 17 years of age of older.  This opportunity is approved for SSL hours.
distro volunteers 2015
Client Services Representative
Help log referrals by phone, fax, and email in to our database.  Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of 6 months. 
English/Spanish bi-lingual skills are required. 
Shifts Currently Available:
 Day or Evening Floater 
(Shift varies based on need)
 2nd Saturday of the Month, 10am-2pm 
(monthly commitment)
Email Katie  for more info
Satellite Distribution Centers
Volunteers help Tuesdays at Glenmont United Methodist Church and Wednesdays at Long Branch Community Center from 3pm-7pm, distributing prepacked boxes, assisting clients to their car, and taking in food donations. 
Must be 17 years of age of older.  This opportunity is approved for SSL hours.
Food Runner
Join Community Food Rescue (CFR), Montgomery County's network for food recovery. Help deliver rescued food to area shelters.
Click here to learn how you can help feed more and waste less.

For more information about these and any other volunteer opportunities visit our  website .
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, 2017 - January 15, 2018. 

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

Aldon Management
Alice Shaver Foundation
Anytime Fitness
Bernstein Management Corporation
Bethesda Central Farm Markets
Bethesda Co-Op
BioReliance Corp.
B'nai Israel Congregation
Box Associates Limited Partnership
The Bresler Foundation
Brookmont Church
Business Architects
Candlewood Elementary School
Canon US Life Sciences
Capital Area Food Bank
Christ Episcopal Church
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
Church of Christ at Manor Woods
Church of the Redeemer
City of Gaithersburg
City of Rockville
Clinton AME Zion Church
Cobec Consulting, Inc.
Colesville Presbyterian Church
CSG Enterprise, L.P.
Davita Total Renal Care, Inc.
Dawsons Market
Delta Kappa Gamma Society International-    Upsilon Chapter
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc./Mo.Co            Alumae Ch.
Dick and Jody Vilardo Foundation
East Silver Spring E.S.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
ESAC/Enterprise Science and Computing, Inc.
Farquhar M.S.
FDA/Center for Vet. Medicine
Food Research & Action Center, Inc.
Friendship Heights Village Center
Gavett, Datt & Barish, P.C.
Giant Food
Girl Scout Troop #968
Global Mission Church
Grace Episcopal Day School
Harris Teeter
Heritage Christian Church
Hermon Presbyterian Church
HSU Builders
Hughes UMC
John Edward Fowler Memorial Foundation
Julin Cheng-Hu Memorial
Kaiser Permanente
Katzman Family Foundation
Kensington Parkwood E.S.
KidsCo Jr.
Kingsbury's Orchard
Larry E. Paul Certified Financial Planner
Leisure World
Lester Poretsky Family Foundation
Lewisdale Solutions, LLC
Linder Family Foundation, Inc.
Lions Club of Olney Foundation, Inc.
Massuage Associates
Medstar Montgomery Medical Center
Meso Scale Diagnostics/MSD
Montgomery Community Club
Montgomery County
Montgomery County Fleet Management          Services
Montgomery County Office of Human Rights
Montgomery County Road Runners
More Cleaning Service, Inc.
Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
Myosenji Temple
Nasdaq OMX
National Cancer Institute
Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund    Greater Washington Community Foundation
Norman's Farm Market
Olney Yoga & Wellness
Or Haolam Ministries, Inc.
Osher at Johns Hopkins University
Otsuka America Pharmeceutical, Inc.
Philip L. Graham Fund
Quince Orchard H.S.
Response Tech
Richard Montgomery H.S. Choral Program
Rockville Assembly of God
Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation
Seneca Whetstone Ladies Book Club
Seven Locks Baptist Church
Seven Locks E.S.
Shanghai Limited Partnership
Sheehy Auto Stores
Sodexo Foundation, Inc
Somerset House
St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church
State of Maryland
Steele Foundation, LLC
Strategic Analysis Inc.
Stromberg Conservation, LLC
Sunflower Bakery
TD Charitable Foundation
The Good Neighbors Family Trust
The Sulica Fund
The Zieff Family Fund Inc.
Thomas S. Wootton H.S.
Tikvat Israel Congregation
Trader Joe's
Twinbrook Baptist Church
Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville
United Healthcare
United Methodist Women Jerusalem-Mt.        Pleasant Methodist Church
Vedanta Center of Greater Washington DC
Village of Martin's Additions
Voortman Cookies
Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church
Washington International Japanese Church
Wertheimer Family Foundation
Whole Foods Market
Woman's Club of Bethesda
Woodley Garden Club
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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