Dear Supporter,
It has been a whirlwind two weeks, and I hope you and yours remain safe as COVID-19 continues to change everyone’s lives. An outpouring of community support, and amazing commitment by volunteers and staff is allowing Manna to execute our mission as safely and effectively as possible. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how your support has made a difference and about our plans for service as Manna Food Center remains open for staff & volunteers as an essential service under the new stay-at-home order .
We've been busy!
Getting Creative with Distribution
From moving our distributions back outside to facilitate "social distancing" to pre-packing boxes and distributing via drive-thru (as locations allow), we are adapting our service to the evolving situation.

We couldn't do this without amazing volunteers who continue to support our hard working staff and fabulous community partners. These partnerships enable food distributions in innovative ways (such as the pictured volunteer at Seneca Creek Community Church).
Keeping Kids Fed
We are launching new strategies to keep feeding kids who are out of school, in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools at their "grab and go" feeding sites and MCPS DOT for bus distribution (photographed here).

Manna is currently leveraging our Smart Sacks weekend bag program to distribute 3,000 bags of food every Friday at distribution locations throughout the County. We are discussing plans to scale up the number of bags each week, as the community needs become more clear.
Expanding Service
As the economic impacts of lost wages are more broadly felt, Manna quickly responded by lifting our regular income requirement . This will make food support more accessible to those experiencing a temporary financial hardship. Last week we noted a 20% increase in food requests over the same period last year.

To meet this increase, thanks to your generous support, we've purchased over 114,000 lbs of food!
Home Delivery Pilot Starts Today!
As we continue to assemble "Stay Put Packs" for our regular distribution locations, we have looked for creative ways to reach our older neighbors, those with health concerns, and families with limited transportation. Home deliveries , facilitated through Manna's Community Food Rescue program, will allow volunteers to leave custom "Stay Put Packs" at the doors of our most vulnerable neighbors. To learn more about this pilot or sign up to deliver, Click Here .

Donate a "Stay Put Pack"
$25 will support the food purchasing, materials, assembly and distribution of one box.

Donate Today to Double Your Impact thanks to a generous 1:1 matching gift opportunity provided by Robert I. Schattner Foundation . Donations up to $25,000 will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling the number of food packages we are able to purchase and distribute.  Every $25 will become $50 and provide two boxes.  Special thanks to the The Cliff and Deborah White Family Foundation, a donor advised fund of The Community Foundation, for making our first matching gift challenge such a success.   Click Here.  
Over the past two weeks we've been blown away by the 336 volunteers who've filled out a form & made themselves available to help in new and unique ways. The new stay-at-home directive will not impact your ability to travel to volunteer , if and when your services are needed.

We have begun reaching out to volunteers in this database with new opportunities to support and welcome anyone who'd like to be considered for service. Join our Special Response Task Force: Click Here .

Donate Food
We are still accepting food donations in large blue bins outside Manna’s warehouse at 9311 Gaither Rd in Gaithersburg . Check our Most Needed Foods list & drop it off 24/7 without needing to come inside.   Our current understanding is that this type of travel is allowed under the Executive Order. Click Here

Institutional Food
If your restaurant, office, cafeteria, or institutional kitchen is temporarily closing and you have food to donate, please consider Manna’s Community Food Rescue program. Click Here.  

Keep up-to-date on advocacy efforts by responding to the action alerts of our partner, FRAC/Maryland Hunger Solutions, to support those vulnerable in our community and our country. Click Here.
Additional Resources:
  • Wellness Checks for Seniors: Call 1-866-50-CHECK to sign up for free daily well-being check from Maryland Department of Aging Click Here.
  • MCPS Grab & Go School Meal Sites are offered in targeted locations across the county. Click Here. 
  • Mental Health Solutions  EveryMind offers free support to help us all manage the stress of this difficult situation Click Here.  
  • Updates from Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. For the latest guidance from trusted local officials. Click Here.  
With gratitude and good wishes, 
CEO, Manna Food Center
P.S. We wanted to make sure that all our recent supporters received an update on the work Manna is doing in the community. If you didn't want to be added to this list, please click the Unsubscribe button below.