FRESH NEWS January 2020
Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
Forging a Better Future for Everyone in our Mountains & Beyond
A Letter from MANNA's CEO
Dear MANNA Community,

The last weeks and months have been revealing—showing who we are and who we aren’t yet. There have been too many heartbreaking moments.

We’ve been given little choice about seeing the harsh realities of our country’s current state even when so many of us are working together to make things better. We are often witness to both simultaneously. When our neighbors are in line desperate to find food, we see the ugliness of avoidable suffering. There is so much more work to be done, hard work, but through all of this I have found that living with purpose right now is such a gift. 

This time has shined a glaring spotlight on the grip that hunger has had on our country for years, and with this spotlight has come a wider understanding of its root causes and consequences. At MANNA, we have seen a 68% increase in people needing food since before the pandemic and have been feeding over 100,000 people a month with the help of our partners and people like you. At the same time, we are facing the daunting reality of needing to move to a sustainable and larger facility to meet the long term needs of our region.

The good news is that there are tangible ways to feed people desperate for food today and prevent hunger tomorrow if we work together, and you give me every hope that this is possible. Although 2021 has certainly not been a dream come true so far, we will see our way through this. Thank you to each and every one of you who found your own way to make our community a more resilient, loving, and humane place to live in 2020. As we look forward, let’s use what we learned in this transformative year to make sure that we forge a better future for everyone in our mountains and beyond.

Hannah Randall
CEO of MANNA FoodBank
Thanks to you and your support, so many people around WNC have food and hope!
"As the food was being put in their car, one of our clients said, “all of this is for us?”

Our workers were proud that they could do that for them."
Keep Trucking...
Volunteer Drivers & Their incredible
Impact in 2020
Following a year like no other, we wanted to take a moment to recognize the amazing impact that our volunteer drivers has had across our 16 county service area.

In 2020, our dedicated and passionate members of the MANNA Volunteer Driver Team have…
• Worked in pairs to complete 385 MANNA Express trips, where over 1,204,880 lbs. of food was distributed to across WNC.

• Assisted MANNA staff on 134 MANNA Community Market food distributions that have helped over 55,000 individuals who faced food insecurity this year.

• Completed over 45 fresh milk deliveries to partner agencies in 4 different counties on a weekly basis.

Travelled over 5,472 miles (roundtrip) to Sylva, NC on a weekly basis to pick up fresh bread for our partner network. 48 total trips of this nature were completed this year.

• Interfaced with partner agencies and food recipients with genuine respect and dignity.

On behalf of MANNA FoodBank and our partner network, we thank each and every one of our volunteer drivers for their service to MANNA and to those in need across our mountains.
MANNA's COVID-19 Impact Report: March - November 2020
Since the beginning of March, MANNA has been working at record levels to provide food to more families than ever in our history.

Thanks to vital support from our community, we have provided food for an average of 104,000 people each month. This is an increase of over 68% compared to our pre-pandemic numbers.

Our Helpline has received calls from over 6,300 households seeking food assistance, and our monthly MANNA Community Markets are serving well above 5,000 people per month. We have also distributed 19.9 million pounds of food since March, a 36% increase of the total pounds of food distributed over the same time period last year.
Notes From Our Partners
Haywood Christian Ministry
For the past fifty years, Haywood Christian Ministry has been a part of Haywood County, evolving with the community to serve in many capacities and aiding vulnerable citizens to meet the challenges of everyday living. We offer a thrift store, clothing assistance, utility and rent assistance, and food assistance through partnerships with MANNA, local churches, and countless private donors to help with needs in the county.

When COVID-19 suddenly spread its vicious wrath on so many folks, we faced unprecedented challenges of having to close the thrift shop and all current services with the exception of food assistance, which became a drive-thru operation.

During the initial few weeks of this challenge, a heavily reduced volunteer group tirelessly prepared up to 1,000 boxes of food per week to help thousands of our county citizens navigate a life without income from jobs lost and children at home when schools closed.

Community Resources
Food, Rent, Utilities & Mortgage Assistance
We recognize now is a time that many people are struggling to make ends meet. Please go ahead and review the following resources, while also sharing them with your networks.

Buncombe County Rent, Utilities & Mortgage Assistance. On Jan. 5, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved accepting $900,000 of federal funding. This money will be used exclusively to help with financial hardships stemming directly from economic impacts of COVID-19. To learn more, Buncombe County encourages possible applicants to check their website for more information.

FNS Enrollment. The MANNA Food Helpline is here to help people register for FNS benefits. These benefits are one of the most effective ways to combat hunger and food insecurity. If you're experiencing food insecurity, or know someone who may be, call 1-800-820-1109 to apply for FNS benefits. If you prefer, you can also contact the MANNA Food Helpline via email.
When Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
A County by County Guide
In the interest of everyone’s health & well-being, we wanted to help best provide an answer to the question that everyone has asked themselves, "when can I get the COVID vaccine?" The answer is not straight forward and varies county by county. That's why we've put the links to all 16 of our counties' websites that are provided updated information on vaccine eligibility. Click your county to learn whether or not you're eligible for the vaccine!

Graham County does not have a website, instead, you can call the number below to learn whether or not you are eligible. If you are, you can register then on the phone.
We'd like to thank the following foundations for their support:
  • 5600K Foundation
  • Chick-fil-A Foundation
  • EMC Insurance Foundation
  • Hall of Famer, Michael Jordan
  • Oak Foundation
  • WoodmenLife Foundation 
We'd like to thank the following corporate partners for their support:
  • A Rooter King, Inc.
  • A Touch of Glass
  • ACT Advisors, LLC
  • AGB Glass
  • Altavista Wealth Management
  • Asheville East KOA
  • Asheville Vault Service, Inc
  • AVL Tax Professionals
  • Bank of America
  • Bay Equity Home Loans
  • Bent Creek Advisors
  • Biblio, Inc
  • Blue Ridge Properties Group
  • Brunk Auctions
  • Clarion Inn Asheville Airport
  • Continuum Consulting Services
  • Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community
  • Dondey Magazine Service, Inc
  • Hartman Chiropractic
  • JAG & Associates Construction, Inc
  • Jimmy White Builders, Inc
  • Jus’ Running
  • Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
  • Mangum Pottery
  • Mini + Meep
  • Mountain Water Systems
  • Mosaix Group
  • New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Panashe Real Estate
  • Parsec Financial Wealth Management
  • Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company
  • Pigeon Valley Septic & Grading, Inc
  • Premier Sotheby's International Realty
  • Silver-Line Plastics Corp.
  • Smart Products, USA
  • State Employees Credit Union
  • Stratus Building Solutions
  • Van Winkle Law Firm
  • Weaver Cooke Construction
  • Welcome to Mars
  • Wicked Weed Brewing
  • Wildlands Engineering
  • Zöe Dental
December Food Drives
  • Advance Auto Parts Store #4630
  • Asheville Sun Soo
  • Buncombe County Rec Services
  • Capital City Financial Partners
  • CarePartners PACE
  • Engel & Volkers Real Estate
  • The Horse Shoe Farm
  • Sylvan of Asheville
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.