FRESH NEWS September 2019
Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
Be the Change: Take Action Against Hunger This Month
in Western North Carolina
Every September, MANNA FoodBank, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in America. Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.

The Problem of Hunger: In the 16 Western North Carolina counties MANNA serves, more than 100,000 people struggle with hunger and do not know where they’ll find their next meal.

MANNA works daily to address the issue of hunger in WNC by rescuing food and distributing it to residents across WNC through a 220-member partner network that includes pantries, shelters, kitchens, and other food assistance programs. 

In 2018/2019, MANNA distributed a record 19.8 million pounds of food, which is the equivalent of 16.5 million meals.
September marks the time of year the Feeding America network of food banks organize around this annual call to action. The Hunger Action Month 2019 campaign asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.

“Food is the foundation for everything we do in life; without it we can’t be our best, most productive selves,” said Hannah Randall, CEO of MANNA FoodBank. “Our partner pantries have seen a distinct increase in the number of working families turning to us for support over the last few years, and we are working harder than ever to simply meet the existing need for food. Children in WNC are especially vulnerable; 1 in 4 children in our region do not know where their next meal will come from, and that is a staggering reality that we simply refuse to tolerate.”

Hunger Action Day ®, the second Thursday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact.

This year, on September 12th, MANNA FoodBank asks supporters to wear orange—the color of hunger awareness—and to educate themselves and their communities about the growing need for food here in Western North Carolina.

Get Ready for
Chow Chow!
Asheville's new culinary festival, Chow Chow, welcomes everyone to the table September 12-15, 2019. Named for the piquant vegetable slaw that has perked up generations of Appalachian dinner plates, this immersive festival celebrates the bounty of the ancient landscape that envelops the city.

MANNA is so very proud to be the signature charity partner for the festival, and, along with our friends at Food Connection, will be partnering with Chow Chow chefs to help ensure that no food is wasted over the course of the festival through food rescue activities!

Get tickets now!
This festival is sure to bring people from all around the country, so don't wait - get your tickets now! Tickets can be purchased on their website here.

Chow Chow has graciously provided an opportunity to support MANNA Packs for Kids, our child feeding program partnership with over 140 schools across 16 counties, when you purchase your tickets! Every $3 donated to MANNA Packs can provide a child with a weekend pack of food, and just $12 provides a child with a month's worth of weekend food packs.
Tickets are on sale now for
Today in Western North Carolina, 1 in 6 people and 1 in 4 children is facing an empty bowl.
You can help fill it—at MANNA FoodBank’s 18th annual Empty Bowls!

Empty Bowls is a unique and memorable event that celebrates community, art, and collaboration, while bringing awareness to the very real problem of hunger in Western North Carolina.

Guests select a bowl hand-made by local artisans and enjoy a seasonal meal of delicious soups, breads, desserts, and coffee. To complement the experience, local musicians provide fabulous live music. The souvenir bowl guests take home reminds them of the many WNC families that are currently struggling with hunger.

Almost every part of the event is donated, including the event space, food, beverages, and local pottery and art. This allows MANNA to use event proceeds for our food distribution and nutrition programs, which serve the more than 100,000 food-insecure households across our 16-county service area. Every dollar raised can help provide food for 3.5 meals!


Biscuit Head
Corner Kitchen
Dining Innovations
Givens Estates
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort
Luella's BBQ
Red Stag Grill


Colorful Palate
Dining Innovations
Gypsy Queen
Isa’s Bistro
Pack’s Tavern
Rezaz Pan Mediterranean
Bread, Dessert, and Coffee Providers                                    
Annie's Bakery
Biltmore Estate Catering
Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community
Dulci di Maria
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort
Ivory Road Café
Moe's Original BBQ
Mountain City Coffee Roasters
OWL Bakery
Sunshine Sammies
Tupelo Honey
Well-Bred Bakery & Café
All month long, local hotels and hospitality staff will be working hard to help fill empty plates across our community.

Sweet Dreams, Full Plates is a major collaboration launched in 2017 by local hotels in the Asheville area as a response to the issue of hunger in Western North Carolina. Sweet Dreams, Full Plates takes place throughout the month of September, coinciding with national Hunger Action Month. Since 2017, this industry-led campaign has already helped fill more than 280,000 plates!

This year, over 40 area hotels are competing against one another for a wonderful cause—to raise money for MANNA FoodBank.
Participating hotels engage hotel guests throughout the month of September to make an impact with their visit. Guest participation is simple: Hotel guests can choose to forgo stay-over services by placing a special door hanger on their room door handle. The special hanger says “We Fed A Family!” and for every room that chooses to participate, the hotel makes a $2 donation on their behalf. With each $2 donation, MANNA can help provide enough food for 7 meals to people across Western North Carolina.

See the participating hotels and follow along with the competition at , and find the campaign on Facebook here !
Get your cans ready for our favorite food drive of the year! You can help raise thousands of pounds of food for our neighbors facing hunger, and get free entry to the Mountain State Fair on Wednesday, September 11, thanks to our hometown grocery partner, Ingles Markets!

It’s easy: Bring 5 cans of Laura Lynn products to donate to MANNA at the fair gates in exchange for free admission!

( Educational opportunity alert! This is a great way to introduce kids to the idea of philanthropy, and how lending a hand to support your community can be a simple action, like donating to the food bank.)
The 27th annual Ingles Giving Tree Lighting Ceremony
Monday, November 25, 2019
at the Asheville Mall!
Family-friendly protein!
Our deep thanks to the S. L. Gimbel Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation for supporting the acquisition of almost 14,000 pounds of peanut butter, an accessible and family friendly protein. We have put this great pantry staple to good use, distributing it across 16 counties in western North Carolina!
The Gift of Groceries
This feel-good moment is courtesy of the amazing Sammy Philpott, who hosted a food and fund drive for his 7th birthday party last month in lieu of guests bringing gifts.

Sammy's selfless birthday request netted an awesome 244 pounds of food , and $40 to support food for people across WNC!

Thank you so much, Sammy, to you and your party goers, for such a wonderful birthday gift to the people we serve!
Food For Families Across WNC:
Thank You to our Food Donors!
Medical Action Industries has recently held their 4 th annual food drive, weighing in at an incredible 10,347 pounds of food!

That amount of food helps to provide over 8,600 meals for people in our community facing an empty plate.

Thank you to everyone at Medical Action Industries for your action to help make things a little easier for our neighbors facing a moment of crisis.

Coming Together for Our Communities
in the Moments of Need

We would like to recognize the following corporate and foundation donors who stepped up their giving support to Feeding America, specifically earlier this year during the month-long government shutdown.

The support from these organizations helped MANNA and many other food banks across the country address and support the community members affected, so that they could pay their bills AND have food on their tables during a time of no income.

BJs Charitable Foundation
California Community Foundation
Health Care Service Corporation
HP Foundation
JPMorgan Chase
Katzenberger Foundation
PwC Charitable Foundation
Splunk/Doug Merritt
TJX Foundation
United Airlines
Visa Foundation
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.