Dear Friend of Manna,

One of our favorite phrases is "Hunger doesn't take a holiday," to convey that Manna Food Center services are needed year-round, not just at Thanksgiving. 

Truth be told, though, September does mark the start of the busiest season for Manna staff and volunteers. Starting this week, we'll receiving the donations from numerous food drives to make sure our shelves are stocked. The start of the school year means we also are ramping up our Smart Sacks program to send home healthy food items to more than 2,700 families. This newsletter article details a whole host of activities that your support makes possible so neighbors have a bountiful table all season long, and kids can come to school ready to achieve. I'll keep my comments short so you can dig into the content. 

I hope as the fall unfolds there will be many chances for our paths to cross as we work together to make MoCo Hunger Free.

Check Your Mailbox for Manna's 2018 Annual Report!
Manna served 31,710 neighbors in need last fiscal year -- thanks to the generous support and dedication of donors, partners, and volunteers. More than 3.5 million pounds of food was distributed with volunteers contributing 62,489 hours at our warehouse and 22 distribution sites.  Whether a neighbor is experiencing hunger temporarily or coping with an ongoing crisis, we aim to eliminate hunger by providing nutritious food, life skills, and connections that enable participants to be well and thrive. 

This year marks our 35th anniversary of service in Montgomery County. We've sprinkled photos from the past as we look back, and move forward with new opportunities to engage our neighbors in the fight against hunger.
Intern Reflection: Manna Keeps Their Community Healthy
The following is an excerpt from Tyler Boatright's blog reflecting on his internship with Manna Food Center. Tyler, along with fellow University of Maryland Dietetic Intern Stephanie Jean, completed a two-week intern rotation with Manna this summer.

I thought all food banks were the same. From what I'd seen in the past, they handed out canned goods, bags of rice, and ramen. That belief was permanently changed after my first hour at Manna. 

I began the day sorting huge crates of fresh produce from local farmers; potatoes, cucumbers, oranges, apples, strawberries, assorted greens, mangoes, and much more. I discovered almost a dozen varieties of eggplant, squash, and tomatoes that I had no idea existed. Once the boxes were overflowing with colorful fruits and vegetables, it was time to begin distributing food to participants. While helping recipients load their food into cars, I was able to learn how critical the need is and how thankful people are to have this valuable resource in their community. 
Kids Helping Kids Food Drive Challenge
October 1-31, 2018

Donate to Manna Food Center during our 2018 Kids Helping Kids Food Drive October 1st through October 31st.

The Kids Helping Kids anti-hunger campaign mobilizes students in Montgomery County schools to raise food and funds for their hungry peers across the county. Participation in this food drive teaches children valuable lessons about hunger, engages them in giving, and shows them that they have the power to make a difference in their community. We hope that your school joins this countywide effort to fight hunger!

Is your kid's school participating? If so, please see Manna's Most Needed Food Items list for important items to collect for the drive. If your kid's school is not participating, you can still drop off donations at Manna Food Center's warehouse, 9311 Gaither Rd., Gaithersburg, MD.

*Please note, registration for Kids Helping Kids must be completed by a school Teacher or Administrator.

Celebrate & Let Your Voice Be Heard!

Turns 1!

Manny, our mobile kitchen and Pop-Up pantry, was introduced to the Montgomery County community last year on September 16, 2017. Since then, we've held 95 classes for 1,238 participants with a focus on reaching participants where they are in the community.  Our programs encourage participants to eat more fruits and vegetables while exploring new flavors. Here is a recent letter from student at Fox Chapel Elementary:

Thank you for showing us how to make a trail mix. It was good and I made it the second day and my mom liked it and my dad and my family. Thank you. ~

Make Manny's birthday wish come true! Organize your community to donate food or funds to Manna, learn more at
Let Your Voice Be Heard - Register to Vote

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 25. Part of Manna's mission is to advocate and support sustainable policies at the local, state, and national level that improve lives and fight hunger. Voting is one way we all can have a voice on the policies that impact our families and communities.

Don't wait! The deadline to register to vote in Maryland is Tuesday, October 16. If you recently moved, you'll need to update your information to vote on November 6 (Election Day). 

Not sure if you're registered? Go to to check your voter registration.

Learn more about voter registration at  National Voter Registration Day.

Manna in the Community
Community Kitchen Open House Leaves Attendees Nourished and Fired Up

On September 12th we welcomed current and potential East County partners to our Community Kitchen Open House at Silver Spring United Methodist Church in Four Corners.

Everyone left the Open House nourished and fired up to help Manna spread the word within their networks about upcoming classes. It was wonderful to see organizations come together in the shared interest of community food education. 

Citizen Heroes Panel

Manna was honored to be a part of the Citizen Heroes Panel Discussion organized by  Silver Spring Town Center Inc.  Our Director of Programs, Jenna Umbriac, was joined by local advocates and activists who shared their motivation to make an impact, the challenges and risks associated with working on sometimes controversial topics, and the successes that engender hope for the future.

The panel presentation was followed by a productive conversation about how we can all be Citizen Heroes by getting involved and speaking out about the issues that are important to us. 

Upcoming Culinary Nutrition Programs
at Manna's Community Kitchen

Join Madea, Manna's Community Education Program Manager, for upcoming nutrition programs: The Oldways A Taste of African Heritage and A Taste of Latin Heritage

These programs are designed to help people eat and live more healthfully through a traditional diet-specifically, to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based traditional foods, and to prepare more home-cooked healthy meals per week.

Adult learners of all interests and backgrounds are welcome! Participants in the cooking class program must be eligible to receive food from Manna.

A Taste of African Heritage
Every Tuesday
2:00 - 4:00 pm
October 9 th - November 13 th 2018
A Taste of Latin Heritage
Every Thursday (except November 22 nd)
2:00 - 4:00 pm
November 8 th - December 20 th 2018

Pre-registration required. To register contact Madea Allen, Community Education Program Manager at or 240-268-2548.

Save the Date!

Community Food Rescue Week
October 13-20, 2018

Manna Food Center is hosting the first countywide food rescue week. Learn what our innovative Community Food Rescue network is doing to end hunger and food waste. Join businesses, volunteers, and hunger relief organizations all week to celebrate how we can reduce waste together. Our events are free and open to the public. We encourage you to RSVP for events and save the date to cheer on local chefs at our No Waste, Big Taste Cooking Competition on Saturday, October 20.

See full list of events at

October Giant Store Food Drive
October 20-21, 2018

We are partnering with Giant to host a countywide food drive on Saturday and Sunday October 20th and 21st at all Giant stores in Montgomery County. Stay tuned for more information to volunteer for a food drive shift. Volunteers will collect funds and food donations.

Email Mardia at if you have any questions.

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.  Click for more information.

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)
Second Saturday of the Month, 10am-2pm (monthly commitment)
Email  Katie ( for more information.

Satellite Distribution Centers
Volunteers needed to help distribute prepacked boxes, assist clients to their car, and take in food donations. 

Tuesdays 3pm-7pm
Glenmont United Methodist Church

Wednesdays 3pm-7pm
Clifton Park Baptist Church (formerly Long Branch Satellite)

Fridays 1pm-4pm
East County Regional Service Center 
Must be 17 years of age of older.  This opportunity is approved for SSL hours.  Click for more information.

Food Runner
Join Community Food Rescue (CFR), Montgomery County's network for food recovery. Help deliver rescued food to area shelters.
Learn how you can help feed more and waste less at

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 July 16, 2018 - August 15, 2018. 

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

Ada and Albert Wibel Foundation
Alfred D. Noyes Children's Center
Am Kolel Sanctuary and Renewal Ctr.
Bargain Movers
Bethesda Central Farmers' Market
Bethesda Co-Op
Box Associates Limited Partnership
Capital Area Food Bank
Central Farms Markets at Westfield Montgomery Mall
Century Distributors, Inc.
Charles Products, Inc.
Christ the Servant Lutheran Church
Church of Christ at Manor Woods
Church of The Redeemer
City of Gaithersburg
City of Rockville
Colesville Presbyterian Church
Color Me Mine Rockville
DC Metro Sai Samsthan
DC Metronomes (Hallmark Club)
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
First Fruits Farm
Fleet Feet Sports
Giant Food
Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors
Harris Teeter
Hermon Presbyterian Church
Jewish Social Services Agency
Kensington Baptist Church
King Farm Community Garden
Larry E. Paul Certified Financial Planner
Medstar Montgomery Medical Center
MMM Freight Corp.
Montgomery College, Germantown Campus
Montgomery County
Montgomery Master Gardeners
Nasdaq OMX
National Council of Jewish Women
Norman's Farm Markets
Olney Farmers & Artists' Market
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Penzey Spice Company
Response Tech
Rockville Farmers' Market
Saint Mark Presbyterian Church
SEBA Gardens
Sodexo Foundation
St. Francis Episcopal Church
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
State of Maryland
TD Charitable Foundation
Temple Emanuel
Trader Joe's
Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville
Village of Martin's Additions
Voortman Cookies
Washington Sikh Center
Watkins Pond Community Garden
Whole Foods Market
William E. Cross Foundation, Inc.

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 

charity navigator square
network for good