Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
Spring has come to the mountains of North Carolina, and this newsletter is all about fresh food! We have some great ways that you can help, ways to find great fresh food if you're looking for it, and so much more!
  • Double SNAP for Fruits and Vegetables

  • MANNA Live! Shopping with SNAP

  • Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

  • The 13th Annual Student Food Drive

  • Partner Spotlight: Nutritious Meals for Seniors

  • Plant a Row for MANNA

  • Connecting Neighbors to Community Gardens

  • Nutrition Works Recipe: Crazy "Coolslaw"
Schools throughout WNC competed against each other to see who could collect the most food to support their neighbors.

Find out how schools did by reading the article below.
Double SNAP for
Fruits and Vegetables
Double Your SNAP Funds, Access Nutritious Local Produce and Support Local Farmers
Access to nutritious, healthy food is an important basic necessity for everyone. That is why we are thankful for farmers' markets throughout WNC for accepting SNAP as a form of payment.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the most effective method of combatting food insecurity. SNAP provides households with funds that can then be used for food purchase. The program allows people to choose the food that they want to eat, while putting the money spent back into the local economy.
While many farmers markets in WNC accept SNAP, there are a handful of markets that offer additional incentives, especially when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the most popular incentive program is called Double SNAP for Fruits and Vegetables. The program offers a one-to-one match on dollars spent by SNAP customers. For example, someone can exchange $10 of SNAP funds for $20 worth of fresh produce.

Double SNAP is an incredible opportunity for people utilizing SNAP to double the value of their SNAP funds, while purchasing nutrient-dense food and supporting local farmers. As of now the following markets participate in Double SNAP: Asheville City Market, East Asheville Tailgate Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market.
According to Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), markets offering the Double SNAP incentive dramatically increases the number of SNAP customers and sales. The program is a win-win: it provides access to fresh and healthy foods for families who are already struggling to afford groceries, while bringing in more income for our local farmers and food businesses.

While four Asheville markets offer Double SNAP, there are other markets in our service area that offer SNAP incentive programs that have a different structure. You can discover which markets offer SNAP incentive programs by reading about it on ASAP's website.
On May 24th, we will be hosting our next "MANNA Live!" live stream event, Shopping with SNAP. The live stream will take place at the West Asheville Tailgate Market and will highlight the benefits of the Double SNAP program.

Shopping with SNAP will take place from 3:30-4:00 PM on Tuesday, May 24th. The livestream will be viewable on our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. To stay up-to-date with all things related to "MANNA Live!" be sure to follow our social media pages and RSVP to our event.

Letter Carriers' Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is Back!
The 30th Annual Food Drive from the
National Association of Letter Carriers Returns
On Saturday, May 14th The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its annual national food drive. The longstanding food drive is the largest one-day food drive in the country and provides residents with an easy way to donate food to your local food bank.

Residents in WNC can participate by leaving a donation of non-perishable food items next to their mailbox before the delivery of the mail on May 14th. Letter carriers will then collect these food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, and deliver them to MANNA.

If you plan on donating food, there are a few important guidelines to know in terms of what MANNA can and cannot receive.
  • MANNA is unable to accept any food donations that are homemade (i.e., without a nutrition label and ingredients listed, in a sealed container).
  • MANNA cannot accept any glass containers.
  • MANNA cannot accept items that have already been opened.

Special note: If there is a chance of rain, please place your food donation in a plastic or reusable bag to protect the food from the elements.

Thank you for helping us restock our shelves, and our partners' shelves!
A Record Breaking Year
Results of the 13th Annual Student Food Drive
Throughout the month of March, schools competed against each other in the 13th Annual Student Food Drive to see who could raise the most food and money to help feed neighbors throughout WNC. In total, all of the schools collectively raised 62,407 meals for families throughout our region! We are so impressed and inspired by our WNC youth and their commitment to ensuring that people all across the mountains can access food when they need it.

This year, MANNA recognized schools with a variety of awards, ranging from best for specific grade-levels and types of school to the most creative.

High School Best – A.C. Reynolds High School – 27,139 meals
Middle School Best – East Yancey Middle School – 1,496 meals
Intermediate School Best – C.T. Koontz Intermediate School – 12,497 meals
Elementary School Best – Glen Arden Elementary School – 4,669 meals
Charter School Best – FernLeaf Community Charter School – 1,468 meals
Most Improved – Estes Elementary School – an increase of 423 meals
Rookie of the Year – Pisgah Elementary School – 1,189 meals
Most Creative – Polk County Middle School – 1,505 meals
As incentive for bringing in items of food for the food drive, Polk County Middle School invited students to donate food as a form of admission to get into the staff versus students basketball game. The game took place on a Friday and at the end of the game, the school's grand total from the food drive was announced.
Thank you to all of the students, parents, teachers and everyone else who made this happen. Thanks to your efforts, over 62,000 meals will be enjoyed throughout WNC.
Nutritious Meals for Seniors
Chef Rachel Kalin and Jewish Family Services' Commitment to Feed Seniors
Jewish Family Services (JFS) is a partner of MANNA and provides a wide range of support services to adults of all faiths in WNC. As part of their services, JFS has an Elder Club where isolated older adults have the opportunity to socialize and participate in enjoyable, educational and memory-enhancing activities. During Elder Club meetings, Chef Rachel Kalin prepares vegetarian dishes.

After working for a while as a city planner, Chef Kalin decided she wanted to redirect her career and follow her passion: working with food.

"I was looking for a way out of the high stress work days found in most restaurant kitchens," Chef Kalin says. "The position opened up at JFS just as I felt the need to pivot in a different food direction."

For five years now, Chef Kalin has prepared nutritious meals for seniors as part of the JFS Elder Club, and speaks about loving the experience of introducing members of the Elder Club to different world cuisine, unique flavors and the creative world of vegetarian and vegan cooking.

"It doesn't hurt to have a quality lunch program for a senior social program, does it?" Chef Kalin asks. "They certainly look forward to eating a 'home' cooked meal with their peers, sometimes reminiscing over food memories of the past, or quietly making mmmmmm sounds."

Operating in Buncombe and Henderson counties, the Elder Club creates an inviting and fun atmosphere where seniors are able to enjoy delicious food with a peer community that fosters meal enjoyment and improved nutrition.
Plant a Row for MANNA
Feed Your Neighbors with Your Garden
The weather is warming, and it's planting season in the mountains! WNC residents have brought in their harvested backyard crops for us to distribute to our neighbors seeking food assistance, because they wanted to make sure that people in our area had access to nutritious and locally-grown produce. We love accepting these donations!

If you are someone who loves to spend their time during the warm weather digging in the dirt and gardening, we invite you to consider planting a row for MANNA! The fresh food that you grow can help feed families throughout our region, and can be donated directly to the food bank when you harvest.

If you decide to plant a row for MANNA this year, we will happily welcome all harvested donations anytime throughout the year!
Connecting Neighbors to Community Gardens
Access to Free and Local Produce
Access to nutrient dense food is essential to everyone's health and well-being. That is why MANNA is dedicated to connecting our neighbors to healthy foods.

In an effort to further connect people with locally-grown produce, we are curious to learn about all of the community gardens in our service area that offer free food or the opportunity to volunteer in exchange for free produce.

If you know of a community garden in WNC that operates like this model, please let us know so that we can share this information with all of our neighbors!
Nutrition Works:
Crazy "Coolslaw"
Our Nutrition Works team works to provide our clients with recipes detailing how to create healthy dishes and treats with the ingredients that they are bringing home from our mobile markets.
If you are looking for a refreshing side to add to your meals this summer, we suggest that you try Nutrition Works' Crazy "Coolslaw".

The coleslaw combines cabbage, grapes, carrots, pineapple and other ingredients to create a tasty treat for the summer months.
Trying out a recipe? Tag us on social media!
Share your results with us! If you love to share healthy recipes, make a recipe your own, or simply share your photos, we'd love to see how it turns out. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Happy (and healthy) cooking!
Outpace Hunger is Back
Feed People and Your Passion
After a successful campaign in 2021, Outpace Hunger is back for 2022!

If you are looking for a way to make a real impact this spring and summer, you can feed people and your passion by participating in Outpace Hunger, an action-based fundraising campaign that turns a favorite activity into meals.

Table for Three
Last Chance to Purchase Tickets
Fewer than 50 tickets remain for MANNA's Table for Three raffle, where you could win 52 fabulous meals at some of the Asheville-area's most beloved restaurants. The best part? Every ticket sold is able to provide a meal a day for over a year for a neighbor who needs it. Check out the incredible participating restaurants and buy your tickets now, before they're gone!
Match Met!
Over $200,000 raised for Fresh Food
We are so pleased to announce that, thanks to YOU, we were able to meet a generous match to purchase fresh food for our community!!!

Thank you to everyone who participated in last month's Fresh Food Drive. Thanks to your donations, the $100,000 match was met and truckloads of fresh fruit and vegetables have been driven to our neighbors throughout WNC.

As of now, we have already procured and distributed oranges, grapefruits, local apples, watermelons, sweet potatoes, onions and purple cabbages.

A special thanks to Bruce and Pam Rakay of the Rakay Family Foundation for providing the matching gift and helping nourish our neighbors, one bountiful plate at a time. We are so grateful to your dedication to our neighbors across WNC!
We'd like to thank the following foundations for their support of our MANNA Community Markets:
  • BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Western North Carolina: Food and Farming
  • Glass Foundation
  • Nantahala Health Foundation
  • Pisgah Health Foundation
  • TD Charitable Foundation
  • United Health Care Community and State
We'd like to thank the following food donors for helping communities across WNC access food:
  • Chiquita Brands International
  • Flavor 1st Growers and Packers
  • Paul Collins Produce Co. Inc.
We'd like to thank the following Corporate Champions for stepping forward to help our neighbors access food:
  • Mast General Store'
  • Riverbend Nursery
  • Salty Conch Bar
We'd like to thank the following partners for hosting food drives and donating meals to MANNA:
  • Conscious Alliance
  • Morningstar Storage
  • UNCA - Key Center for Community Engaged Learning
  • Wright Contracting
  • WNC Youth Sports Association
We'd like to thank the following Events + Campaigns for working to create a food secure WNC:
  • The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village
Together, MANNA FoodBank and Ingles Markets have been filling plates for more than three decades. Thank you for your dedicated partnership, Ingles Markets!
We want to thank all of you who have joined us in rising to meet the unprecedented need for food in WNC.

We are deeply grateful to have come this far together, and together, we can continue to serve all those who turn to MANNA in their moments of need.
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.