FRESH NEWS December 2019
Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
MANNA Community Market
MANNA's First Mobile Pantry Hits the Road
For many Western North Carolinians, times are tough. In fact, more than 90,900 people in the 16 western-most counties are experiencing food insecurity every year. Wages are not keeping up with living expenses, and North Carolina is already ranked in the top 10 most food-insecure states in the country. 

MANNA’s traditional model for distributing the food we source is through a network of community-based nonprofits across 16 counties who hold open food distributions, meals, and other programs focused on alleviating hunger in their immediate area. This successful model has put more than 19.8 million pounds of food into WNC in the last year alone, and continues to be the primary focus of MANNA's food distribution program.
In 2015, MANNA began addressing the need for getting perishables to residents through quick delivery. Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteer drivers and a partnership with United Healthcare for funding support, MANNA Express was launched, bringing just-in-time deliveries of fresh produce, eggs, and milk, and working to partner agencies. MANNA also partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific to support partners' capacity to safely store and distribute this fresh food with refrigeration and freezer unit donations. This work continues, helping get more nutritional foods to people struggling with an empty plate.

In 2016, following a deep dive into data around the need for food across the region, MANNA staff could see that there were areas of great need who weren't able to access food resources through the partner network.

The nature of the mountains, and the many rural communities located in “one way in, one way out” pockets, create not just food deserts for those communities, but support deserts as well. There are areas across the region where communities don't have access to food, as well as community support programs. The staff at MANNA knew something needed to happen to reach these areas and fill as many empty plates as possible. Thus, the work began to strategically build a mobile pantry distribution method.
In 2017, MANNA reached out to The Glass Foundation, who made a transformative gift to purchase and outfit the 24-foot refrigerated truck. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina came along side, and funded a portion of the operational costs, including funding support for a new driver position.

The next step was to pilot a mobile market program to gauge the capacity needed, and the impact of this work. MANNA's successful pop-up market pilot launched in the summer of 2018, which to date has held 142 markets and distributed over 474,000 pounds of food. Now, these pop-up markets have transitioned to MANNA's first ever mobile pantry unit, officially named the MANNA Community Market.

The Community Market is now on the road every week, going to areas across MANNA's 16-county service region with free food distributions. But the Community Market is doing more than bringing food resources. MANNA staff are working with rural communities to create a way for residents to access both free food distributions and wrap-around resources and services tailored to address specific needs in each community. From health screenings, to employment support, these markets aim to bring multiple resources together to support residents with one stop.

“This is one more step in the larger work we do to provide food with hope and dignity,” says MANNA's Chief Executive Officer, Hannah Randall. “If we can help bring support, resources, and solace even for a moment to the many people facing these desperate situations, that is a powerful step.”
Photo Provided By Carolina Public Press
The Faces of Hunger
A Unique Perspective on Hunger
This past year, Carolina Public Press has been examining hunger and food insecurity throughout rural North Carolina as part of their series, ‘The Faces of Hunger’. The nonpartisan and independent press outlet has written a year's worth of articles chronicling food hardship and how it affects 1.5 million people throughout our state. 

Carolina Public Press’s in-depth reporting details reasons for hunger, such as age, lack of economic opportunities and rural isolation, while also highlighting unique steps communities have taken to combat food insecurity. 

TODAY! Support MANNA's Blood Drive

Friday, December 13th from 11:30AM-4:00 PM, MANNA is hosting a Blood Drive in partnership with the American Red Cross.

If you'd like to sign up, email

Your 1 donation can save up to 3 lives!
Ingles Giving Tree Food Drive: There's Still Time!

Stop by the Asheville Mall, drop off some non-perishable items and get into the holiday spirit!

For the remainder of the year we will be collecting food at The Ingles Giving Tree to help feed our neighbors in need.
MANNA Community Market Recognition

Thank you to the following organizations for helping to make the MANNA Community Market a reality!

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

  • The Glass Foundation

  • The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina: Food and Farm
November Food & Fund Drives
We want to thank the following groups and organizations for their efforts in collecting food drive donations to help fill the plates of our neighbors across WNC:
Asheville Community Yoga: 272 lbs.
Asheville Montessori School: 316 lbs.
Asheville Yoga Center: 92 lbs.
Axeville Throwing Club: 320 meals
Banks Avenue Bar: 600 meals
Bankers Insurance, LLC: 80 lbs.
Blue Planet Plumbing: 124 lbs.
Blue Ridge Montessori: 147 lbs.
ButchOUT: 548 meals
Charles Schwab & Co: 380 lbs.
Chick fil-A South Asheville: 36 lbs.
Chick fil-A Tunnel Road: 170 lbs.
Craft Centric Taproom & Bottleshop: 22 lbs. & 40 meals
Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community: 828 lbs.
Digestive Health Partners: 104 lbs.
Discovery Montessori: 300 lbs.
Fields Auto: 88 lbs.
Forest Knoll Neighborhood: 272 lbs.
Gum, Hillier, McCroksey & Amburgey Law: 43 lbs. & 20 meals
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church: 402 lbs.
Kitchen & Company: 254 lbs.
Land of the Sky UCC: 82 lbs.
MB Haynes Corporation: 680 lbs.
Mission Children’s Hospital: 616 lbs. & 640 meals
Mountain Credit Union: 60 lbs.
North Carolina Department of Revenue: 35 lbs.
Pine Gate Renewables: 46 lbs.
Premier Home Health Care: 234 lbs.
PT Solutions – Hendersonville Road: 574 lbs.
RE/Max Executive: 100 lbs.
Riverside Tailgate Market/Zillicoah Beer Co. : 56 lbs.
River Ridge Apartments: 644 lbs.
Scott Financial Planning: 190 lbs.
SouthRidge Townhomes: 72 lbs.
State Employees Credit Union: 74 lbs.
TC Roberson National Honor Society: 82 lbs.
The Verge Apartments: 206 lbs.
Tiltworks: 134 lbs.
Tupelo Honey: 98 lbs.
Upcountry Brewing Company: 20 lbs.
Vineyard Vines: 22 lbs.
Zealandia Capital, Inc: 1,201 lbs.
Community Events in Support of MANNA
December 13th - UpCountry Brewing in Brevard is hosting a Santa Toss Cornhole Tournament. 50% of tournament proceeds will be donated to MANNA.

December 20th - Wicked Weed Brewing will be having their Holiday Hootenanny. Attendees are encouraged to donate to MANNA.

December 24th - Lookout Brewing Company will be having a Christmas Eve by Candlelight. A portion of all sales for the day will be donated to MANNA.
Throughout the holiday season, please consider purchasing some of your gifts online at Amazon Smile.

On Amazon Smile, you can designate MANNA FoodBank as the charity of your choice and a portion of your purchase will then be donated to MANNA.
Maximize Your Year End Giving!

Gift of Stocks - MANNA is grateful to receive gifts of stock or appreciated securities. For information on making a stock transfer, connect with our Philanthropic Engagement Director Chad Conaty, by emailing him at

Matching Gifts - Many companies will match gifts made by their employees to MANNA or will make a contribution for volunteer hours served - even if you're retired. See if you're eligible now.

Age 70 or Over? - Use part of your required minimum distribution (RMD) to make a charitable gift to MANNA, while also giving you advantages in federal and state taxes. For more information, contact Chad Conaty at
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.