FRESH NEWS November 2020
Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
As we embark on a very different holiday season this year, we wanted to take a moment to reflect, with gratitude, on all the we have collectively been able to accomplish, thanks to YOU.

In the newsletter below, you will see an update on MANNA's activities since the pandemic began (in our COVID-19 Impact Report). While we are deeply concerned that our partners are reporting the highest number of individuals coming to their pantries yet (as of October, over 103,000 people a month, a 77% increase over pre-pandemic averages), we also know that we have been able to be there with food for these families only through the support of our incredible, generous community.

Together, we are working every day to fill these empty tables, and as long as you are with us, we will be able to continue doing so until families can begin to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.

This Thanksgiving, we know what we are grateful for:

From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU for your continued partnership in our shared work to ensure WNC families have food.
One Year of Reaching Those Who Could Not Reach Us
Celebrating a year of MANNA Community Markets!
Last year, MANNA officially launched a new program, which sought to hold free food distributions in areas lacking the infrastructure and/or resources to combat the high level of food insecurity in the region. Being that most of Western North Carolina is rural, we were aware that there were many people in need of food assistance who could not reach we worked to reach them.

With the launch of the MANNA Community Market (MCM), we are now able to host pop-up markets across WNC. Within the first few months, MCMs had become visible in every county, while solidly establishing itself as a regular routine destination in eight counties.

"One of the greatest successes of the MCM program has been that the distributions have filled the gap where there weren’t any partner agencies," says Malarie McGalliard, MANNA's Mobile Programs Coordinator. "A lot of people who were not able to find food assistance, can now rely upon MCMs to be there for them and their families.”

In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, MCMs distributed over 800,000 pounds of food across Western North Carolina. Since July of this year alone, they have distributed over 450,000 pounds into neighborhoods with a high need for food. 
This food support continues at a record pace despite the pandemic becoming a reality months after the launch of the MCM program. As we are all aware, day-to-day operations throughout almost every corner of the world had to change due to public health concerns. For MCMs, that was no different.

Prior to the pandemic, MCMs were set up as a farmer’s market, which allowed clients to choose the food that they were excited to bring home and enjoy with their loved ones. As the pandemic swept through the country, MANNA was forced to re-conceptualize the distributions. To better serve clients safely, MCMs transitioned to a low- to no-contact drive through market. Many communities throughout the mountains of WNC came together and provided masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer so that food distributions could continue and be done in a safe manner.

Throughout this past year, the staff members and volunteers who make the MANNA Community Market a reality have faced incredible challenges while piloting a new program, however, despite these unprecedented times, they have persisted through all of it with their adaptiveness, creativity, and resilience. 

As we look to the future, we know that this will be a long road to recovery, but at the end of this, MANNA hopes to see MCMs return to a farmer’s market format that allows clients to choose the food they know their families' will enjoy. Even now, we know that MCMs will continue to be a resource for community members who are struggling to afford the food they need, and will continue to reach out to those who cannot reach out to us.
MANNA is closed the week of Thanksgiving
This year, MANNA will be closed from Monday, November 23rd to Friday, November 27th for the Thanksgiving holiday. Due to the high volume of work that has been required of staff and volunteers in order to meet the increased need for food assistance throughout our 16-county service region, MANNA's leadership team has chosen to give everyone the week off in celebration of the work we have all accomplished. It is our hope that people will be able to use this time relax and recharge, while celebrating Thanksgiving.
Celebrating the 28th annual Ingles Giving Tree
At a time when more families across the mountains than ever are deeply burdened, Ingles Markets - our 30+ year local grocery partner in food security - is again launching the annual Ingles Giving Tree, a benefit for MANNA FoodBank and families across WNC struggling with hunger.

This year, Ingles Markets is keeping the tradition alive with a magnificent, 20-foot tall live tree from Grassy Creek Nursery. The tree will be decorated by award-winning floral directors, and the live lighting will take place on the Monday prior to Thanksgiving at the Asheville Outlets, with Mrs. Laura Ingle on hand to light the tree in person.

The live tree lighting will take place from 4-6 PM at the Asheville Outlets on November 23rd. For those who do not wish to attend in person, the lighting will be broadcast live on WLOS, between 5:30 and 6:00pm, and streaming live on WLOS’ website.

With the huge increase in the need for food, Ingles is making it easy for anyone in WNC to help: all Ingles stores in the 16 counties of MANNA’s service area will have $5- and $10-dollar Ingles Giving Tree icons for purchase at checkout, representing 20 and 40 meals that will benefit the families MANNA serves. For every dollar donated, MANNA can provide 4 meals to people facing hunger right now.
Food Lion Feeds
Western North Carolina
Thanks to Food Lion, several partner agencies across our region had their shelves and pantries restocked as part of the Food Lion Feeds Pantry Restock events!

Knowing the importance of food security and anti-hunger work, employees of Food Lion traveled to partner agencies across WNC and unloaded boxes of nutritious food to be used for those seeking food assistance.

Our deep thanks to Food Lion for their ongoing efforts to ensure that people have access to food.
Closing on Hunger
Thank you to our realtor partners who made the first Closing on Hunger such a great success!

In the fundraiser's inaugural year, 16 firms participated and 32 realtors provided donations. While we are still waiting for some additional donations to come in, we are pleased to report that over $8,000 has been raised, which means that over 33,500 meals will be provided to people across Western North Carolina!

We would like to extend an enormous thank you to all of the following firms for making Closing on Hunger happen:
  • Appalachian Realty Associates
  • Asheville Luxury Brokers
  • Asheville Realty Group
  • Beverly-Hanks & Associates 
  • Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty
  • Dwell Realty Group
  • Gateway Properties WNC
  • Hi-Alta Real Estate
  • Keller Williams Professionals
  • Looking Glass Realty
  • Moving Mountains Property Group
  • N&O Appraisals 
  • Open Gates Realty
  • Preferred Properties of Asheville
  • RE/MAX Executive 
  • Town and Mountain Realty
Thermo Fisher Scientific
As part of a community give-back event, Thermo Fisher Scientific employees packed 6,000 pounds of pinto beans into family-sized portions that will be available for pick-up by our partner agencies serving food to residents across WNC. In addition to packing the product, Thermo Fisher Scientific awarded a grant to MANNA FoodBank for food procurement.

This is the 7th major food packing event hosted by Thermo Fisher Scientific, and another incredible investment by their employees in the efforts to end hunger here in WNC. Their food packing events have helped provide around 60,000 meals to food insecure individuals in WNC.

Thank you, Thermo Fisher Scientific employees!
MANNA's COVID-19 Impact Report: March - October 2020
Since the beginning of March, MANNA has been working at record levels to provide food to more families than ever in our history.

In the last eight months, thanks to vital support from our community, we have provided food for an average of 103,000 people each month. This is an increase of over 77% compared to our pre-pandemic numbers.

Our Helpline has received calls from over 5,800 households seeking food assistance, and our monthly MANNA Community Markets are serving over 6,000 people a month. We have also distributed 17.5 million pounds of food since March, a 35% increase of the total pounds of food distributed over the same time period last year.
How You Can Help:
Upcoming Events in the Asheville Area
Harris Teeter: Our local area Harris Teeter stores will be doing a “Harvest Feast Round-up Campaign” to benefit MANNA, November 18 – December 29. Shoppers will be able to round up to the next dollar at checkout, and the difference will go to MANNA.

Wicked Weed Brewing: Our friends at Wicked Weed have brewed a special beer just for us – “MANNA” – which is fall-styled ale with cranberries, ginger and honey. $1 from every pour will be donated to MANNA throughout the holidays.

Whole Foods: Our local area Whole Foods stores will be doing a register round-up campaign to benefit MANNA, December 10 – December 24.
Schedule Your Holiday Volunteering Now!
If you are looking for volunteer opportunities for you or your family through the end of the year, we encourage you to sign up soon! Our volunteer spots at the holidays fill up fairly quickly, and having reduced the number of available volunteer spots for better social distancing, our shifts are happily filling up.

Thank you for lending your time and your hands to help in this effort to feed our friends and neighbors!
October Food Drives
  • Aventine Asheville Apartments: 3,315 meals

  • Beth HaTephila: 57,168 meals

  • UNCA Key Center: 40 meals
We'd like to thank the following foundations for their support:
  • Pisgah Health Foundation
  • Dogwood Health Trust 
  • WNC Bridge Foundation
  • BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation
  • Cherokee Preservation Foundation
  • Avery Dennison Foundation
  • Beattie Family Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
  • National Council on Aging
  • Bank of America Foundation
  • TD Charitable Foundation
  • Wells Fargo
  • Woodforest Bank Foundation
We'd like to thank the following corporate partners for their continued support:
  • The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village
  • Ameritech Slope Constructors, Inc
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Ambiente Furniture
  • GE Aviation
  • Harris Teeter
  • Wines for Humanity
  • Food Lion
  • Inform
  • Continental Automotive
  • Preferred Properties of Asheville
  • Highland Brewing Company
  • Goldsmith Molis & Gray, PLLC
  • Campbell Soup Company
  • DaVita Dialysis 
We want to thank all of you who have joined us in rising to meet the unprecedented challenges we have faced throughout the course of this pandemic.

We are deeply grateful that we have come this far together and are confident that if we all continue to do what we can, we will be able to serve all those who will turn to us on the long road ahead.

Involve, Educate, and UNITE
MANNA FoodBank remains strongly committed to standing alongside all those united in seeking positive change, equity, and justice for all. 
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.