FRESH NEWS June 2018
Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
Summer is Harder for Families in Need
Summertime is seen as a time for family vacations, camps, and getting outdoors to enjoy everything our beautiful mountain region has to offer. But for the families of over 45,000 kids who rely on free school meals during the academic year, summer is much harder.

There's no vacation from hunger.

For these families, our neighbors, summer means struggling even more to try and bridge the household grocery gap, and MANNA and our dedicated partners work harder to distribute more food during these times. We know that when these families need help, someone should be there, and that is why MANNA's daily work to provide food with hope and dignity is so important.

All year long, thousands of volunteers work collectively with MANNA staff and our partner agencies to ensure that when a family needs us, we can be there. Happily, there are a variety of ways that you can help us fill tables across Western North Carolina this summer! Read on to see how you can help!

Simple Trade Offs To Help Feed Families:
What Your Dollars Can Do

Thanks to the work of the thousands who volunteer daily, the food providers who donate fresh and shelf-stable food, and the committed support of our funders and financial donors, MANNA can stretch every resource to ensure that we are doing all we can at every turn to help fill peoples' plates.

We can all do small things throughout the summer to make a real difference for the neighbors we serve. Here are some examples of simple trade offs we can all make.

Instead of:

  • Buying a latte, make coffee at home, and donate $3 to MANNA. With $3, MANNA can provide the food for over 10 meals!

  • Buying a large pizza, with that $18, MANNA can feed six kids for an entire weekend through our MANNA Packs for Kids program!

  • Spending on a nice lunch for two at $24 per person, MANNA can turn that into a week's worth of meals for a family of four!
Hops for Hunger:
Beer City Comes Together in July to Help Feed WNC
Throughout the month of July, you can enjoy a great local craft beverage and help support MANNA's mission to provide food to families across WNC.
Many of us are busy planning summer vacations, gatherings, and picnics ahead of July. But for over 100,000 Western North Carolina residents busy trying to make ends meet to provide for their most basic needs, that kind of celebration is out of the question.

That is why the nationally recognized WNC beer scene is collaborating again, and raising the stakes, to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in Western North Carolina. Over twenty local breweries are joining forces to help support MANNA FoodBank’s mission to end hunger for thousands of families across WNC through the 2nd annual Hops for Hunger campaign, July 1st – 31st.

Hops for Hunger is made possible through support from  Asheville Ale Trail , and MANNA’s annual sponsors:  Preserve Communities Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort Anurja Interactive The Cantina at Historic Biltmore Village Mast General Store , and  Lamar Advertising .

Blue Jean Ball Success:
ALOHA from the SWANNANOA Breaks Records!
This year's 19th Blue Jean Ball was our most successful event in Blue Jean Ball history! This incredible accomplishment is possible only through the support of the 1,000 attendees, the hundreds of volunteers, the dedicated event sponsors, and our irreplaceable culinary sponsors. All of these incredible folks come together to ensure not only that we put on a fundraiser event that is not just a great party for all who attend; but that we have an event that can make a real impact in our work to fill our neighbors' plates across our 16-county Western North Carolina service area. 

Reliable Used Cars Needed!
MANNA is in great need of reliable vehicles, with relatively low mileage, that can support the collective efforts to address the grocery gap for the 1 in 6 people and 1 in 4 children who don’t know where their next meal will come from.

Be a voice for those in need:
Take MANNA with you wherever you go!
Get MANNA logo gear through our new Lands' End storefront!

Fresh Food Partners:
Rescuing Food + Filling Plates
It is so easy to give authentic gratitude when the donations are so meaningful, and make a real difference in peoples' lives here in WNC...
Please join us in thanking our local grocery retail partners, who participate in Feeding America's Retail Store Donation Program (RSDP) for an incredible year last year - our retail partners helped provide an AMAZING 4,082,588 lbs of perfectly good perishable foods that otherwise would have gone to the landfill. But what really makes our hearts sing is knowing that these wonderful retailers donated more fresh produce than ever before - they donated 25% more fresh produce than the year prior!
Please help us in thanking the following retail partners for their ongoing commitment to ensuring that we can not only rescue good, healthy food, but that we can get it directly to the folks across WNC who need it most!

Big Lots
Food Lion
Fresh Market
Harris Teeter
Sam’s Club
Trader Joe’s
MANNA FoodBank's work is completely dependent on direct support from individuals, businesses, foundations, and other partners who invest in the work to feed the 107,000+ people who find themselves facing hunger ever year in Western North Carolina.

Please help us in thanking the following organizations for their support in the collective, daily work to address hunger for Western North Carolinians.
Walmart Foundation
The Walmart Foundation has helped MANNA continue to operate the highly successful Retail Donation Store Program (RSDP). This program has enabled MANNA to distribute over 4 million pounds of fresh food to filling families' plates in the last year alone.

The Walmart Foundation has also supported MANNA's partner agency capacity efforts with a recent grant to MANNA partner Pathways, providing funding for a refrigerated vehicle and other necessary equipment to move larger amounts of food to the community they serve.

Our sincere gratitude to Walmart Foundation for this important support.
Funding for Food:
Partners For Food Distribution Work in WNC
MANNA works hard every year to stretch our efforts and resources to try and get the amount of food that WNC needs. Every year, we stretch a little further, thanks to the help of partners like the TJX Foundation, whose support provides enough food for 26,250 meals, and partners like The Landwirth Foundation, whose support this year has provided enough food for an additional 35,000 meals!

On behalf of all the people MANNA serves across the 16 counties of WNC, we thank these foundations for their investment for our food distribution efforts.
Community Foundation of WNC Supports MANNA FoodBank's Nutrition and Health-Focused Work
We are thrilled to announce MANNA received $40,000 in funding provided by a grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC). CFWNC is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitated $18 million in charitable giving last year. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. More information can be found at

This funding is in support of our Nutrition Works initiatives to address food insecurity and facilitate nutrition and healthy eating for people in need in Western North Carolina. Through this funding, we aim to increase access to nutritious food for families in need and build the capacity of our partner agency network to provide local, sustainable approaches to nutrition and health focused work.

Our ultimate goal is to directly address the intersection between food insecurity and health by increasing access to and consumption of nutritious foods for those in need in order to address the health disparities among vulnerable populations. The provision of healthy food to people in need is a tangible, necessary, and continual outcome of our work.

The scope of this funding is to advance the on-site nutrition education component of this initiative to eight new partners, thereby increasing access to and consumption of healthier food for their clients. This includes providing education, cooking demonstrations, taste tests, healthy recipes, and training agencies to utilize “nutritional nudges,” which are low-resource strategies used in behavioral economics to influence an individual’s behavior or choice.

Through this body of work we are supporting a culture of health throughout Western North Carolina with an emphasis on growing independent and sustainable nutrition partners.
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Supports MANNA's Advocacy Efforts
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. MANNA recently received support in the form of a grant, which will continue to aid in our efforts to advocate for our neighbors in need in a variety of ways, including work with state and federal legislators to result in anti-hunger solutions that support all communities. We are so grateful to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger for their dedicated support of this important work.
Give. Volunteer. Advocate.