FRESH NEWS August 2021
Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank
Summer Packs:
Food Access for the Summer,
When Kids Are Out of School
For MANNA FoodBank, and our dedicated network of partner food providers across the region, summer is a busy time for getting food to families who need it—especially families with children. It is more important than ever that MANNA is able to be there for them when they turn to us, especially as more families than ever before have reached out for food support.
(Sylva, NC) A volunteer with the Community Table grabs a Summer Pack for a family with kids attending their food distribution.
This is why volunteers, food donors, and community supporters have been working in overdrive mode this year to make sure our Summer Packs program can reach as many families as possible. This summer, we’re happy to report we have been serving more families than ever with this vital program that helps bridge the summertime months, when kids are away from the support of regular school meals.

Western North Carolina already faces one of the highest rates of child food insecurity in the country, and the pandemic deepened the existing gaps in thousands of families’ food budgets. The pandemic has unevenly impacted families across the mountains. Many families able to make ends meet prior to the pandemic have needed a little help, but families already facing dire economic challenges prior to the pandemic were plunged even more deeply into the spiral of poverty – and many of those families have children.
(Asheville, NC) Josh, a member of the Volunteer Center staff, shows off oranges for this week's Summer Packs.
An incredible crew of volunteers, drivers, area schools and their nutrition teams, members of our partner agency network, and an incredible community of donors have all helped to ensure MANNA can provide these supplemental bags of food to more than 3,000 students a week since the start of the summer.
These bags are focused on providing not just food to families, but nutritionally dense foods, like fresh produce, to ensure that children across WNC have access to foods that support their growth, development, and long-term well-being.

Read on to discover what kinds of things go into a MANNA Summer Pack, why children across the region face such steep challenges when it comes to food access, and the wonderful community of support that, alongside you, help make a difference to thousands of children across the mountains, one plate at a time.
What is in a Summer Pack?
Summer Packs are MANNA's answer to summer hunger, when WNC children don't have access to free school meals. The Summer Packs--similar to our school year weekend food packs, MANNA Packs--provide a week's worth of supplemental food to kids and their families.

Curious what you might find inside a Summer Pack? Join Carol Fazioli, MANNA's Health and Nutrition Program Manager, as she takes a look at the contents of a Summer Pack!
Impact Report:
March 2020 - June 2021
While we're beginning to see the signs of recovery, the near 100,000 people we are serving every month still have a very long road ahead.

We still remain 28% above our pre-pandemic numbers for the number of people needing food in WNC. In the month of June alone, MANNA and our partners served over 100,000 people at partner agencies and mobile markets across WNC. We know that the pandemic has disproportionately affected many families here, and we anticipate this need will remain above pre-pandemic levels for some time.

The most striking and hopeful piece of our monthly impact report is seeing what our community has made happen: Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, together we have provided 28 million meals to families throughout our region thanks to the support of volunteers, partners and individuals such as yourself.

On behalf of the thousands of families who will come home to food on the table tonight, we thank you for your enduring compassion and support.
Children & Food Insecurity
Why are WNC Children Facing Higher Rates of Hunger?
In Western North Carolina, food insecurity disproportionately impacts our youngest residents. While unfortunately, 1 in 6 adults in our region don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, the rate of child food insecurity is much higher: In WNC, 1 in 4 children face food insecurity. The saddening statistic is not only worrisome due to the immediate hunger so many children face, but also the long-term effects that can be carried from childhood to adulthood.

Children, much like adults, in our region encounter food insecurity due to the unique set of socioeconomic circumstances of our area. The cost of living in the greater Asheville area is the highest in the state, and housing costs in particular continue to increase across WNC. As a result, many families have moved away from economic centers to find cheaper housing. In these areas, however, there is not an adequate public transportation system that can bring people back and forth from areas with family-supporting job opportunities, making transportation a must-have for these families. On top of high living costs and a lack of public transportation, families also have to grapple with child care costs, often leading to impossible decisions, such as "do I put gas in the car, or purchase groceries this week?"

Food insecurity, similar to many other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), can have a serious impact upon the development of a child. Chronic stress from not knowing whether or not you are going to eat has the ability to alter brain development and a person’s immune system as they grow into an adult. Children suffering from food insecurity are also more likely to suffer academically, which may prevent them from reaching higher income levels post-school.

That is why we work tirelessly on a range of solutions to ensure everyone, especially children, have access to food here in WNC. Thankfully, there are a multitude of different methods that are effective in combatting child hunger.

Nutrition Works for Kids
Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana Parfait
Our Nutrition Works team works to provide our clients with recipes detailing how to cook up the food that they are bringing home from our mobile markets into delicious meals and treats.

One of those recipes is the quick and easy, Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana Parfait. Watch the video to learn how to prepare the tasty treat!

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, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Happy (and healthy) cooking!
MANNA's Hiring!
MANNA FoodBank is hiring for a critically important role in our Mobile Programs team and offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus!

We are looking for a CDL holder who is driven by a desire to help their own WNC community in a dynamic and exciting role as Mobile Markets Driver.

Come see the difference your commitment makes working alongside a dedicated group of volunteers and staff to literally put food in the hands of those that need it.

For more information on becoming our Mobile Markets Driver, click here.
Partner Highlight:
Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center
Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center has been serving folks in Haywood County since 2001.

Why do you do this work?
The mission of the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center is to strengthen harmony among the residents of our county and its communities. To achieve this, we help re-establish the long-standing tradition of the community as a family. We foster intentional inclusiveness to create a holistic quality of life.
Click HERE to learn more about Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center.
Outpace Hunger:
A Kid-Friendly Way to Stay Active This Summer
Summer is here, and this year, we have a great way for families, neighbors, friends, and communities to come together and make a difference for our WNC neighbors facing hunger - all while participating in your favorite activities!

Outpace Hunger - MANNA FoodBank's brand-new fundraising campaign to help turn your favorite activity into much-needed food for WNC families - is off to a great start!

But we have a long way to go, and we need your help to get to the finish line!

The campaign is simple: participants set an activity-based fundraising goal and share their personal fundraiser with friends and family. Then, they track their progress and encourage people to support their effort to raise money for meals as they come closer to their goal.

Whether you enjoy walking your pooch, are an avid paddler, a stop and smell the roses hiker, yoga lover or an ultra-marathoner, you can turn your passion into meals by signing up to participateEvery $1 raised for MANNA helps provide four meals-worth of food – and it is needed now more than ever.  
20th(!!) Annual Empty Bowls: Save the Date!
MANNA FoodBank is excited to announce that the 20th Annual Empty Bowls event will take place on Monday, October 18, 2021!

We are thrilled to celebrate this incredible 20-year milestone with our guests, potters, artisans, culinary partners, and larger WNC community. Please stay tuned for more details about this joyous Empty Bowls event, and how we plan to celebrate, including a link to purchase tickets, in the coming weeks.
Staff members Kevin Davis and Jose Romero help say Thank You to The Leon Levine Foundation for their support of MANNA's daily food distribution work.
We'd like to thank the following foundations for their support for MANNA's Food Distribution Program:
  • Chick-fil-A Foundation
  • EMC Insurance Foundation
  • Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation
  • The Leon Levine Foundation
  • Morgan Stanley Foundation
  • Samuel L. Phillips Family Foundation
  • Pisgah Investments Foundation
  • Publix Super Markets Charities
  • David A. and Susan H. Schoenholz Foundation
  • The Stiver Foundation
  • Walnut Cove Members Association
We'd like to thank the following Corporate Champions for stepping forward to help our neighbors access food:
  • Asheville Cotton Company
  • Melting Pot Social
  • Hampton Inn Asheville Tunnel Road
We'd like to thank the following partners for hosting events and campaigns in support of MANNA:
  • Cantina at Historical Biltmore Village for continuing tenth year of Be Nice with your Rice campaign.
We'd like to thank the following partners for hosting food drives and donating meals to MANNA:
  • Advance Auto Parts - Fairview Road - 1125 lbs.
  • Black Mountain Neuro-Medical - 316 lbs.
  • Firefly Realty - 126 lbs.
  • First Bank - 216 lbs.
  • Genova Diagnostics - 394 lbs.
  • Interstate Blood Bank, Inc. - 878 lbs.
  • Kimmel & Associates - 196 lbs.
  • MB Haynes Corporation - 178 lbs.
  • Rotary District Conference - Service Project (Piedmont Clubs) - 2,213 lbs.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific - 260 lbs.
  • Wicked Weed Brewing's Funkatorium - 278 lbs.
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.