On Saturday, June 4, MANNA FoodBank will host the 12th Annual Blue Jean Ball on the banks of the Swannanoa River. More than 20 restaurants, dozens of area businesses and four bands are making this signature Asheville event possible.
Many articles and studies have been published regarding hunger in Western North Carolina, including a piece in the Mountain Xpress on how Asheville ranks seventh worst in the nation in food hardship [“A Growing Hunger” March 23]. As shocking as that fact may sound, MANNA and our agencies have been observing this state of affairs since late 2007.
This year’s Blue Jean Ball takes on an added significance in light of that data as well as across the board budget tightening — state and federal government cutting benefits as well as some looming food shortages on the horizon for food banks across the country. When combined with a spike in food and fuel prices, our supplies could struggle to meet demand. We must match last year’s distribution total of 9.1 million pounds of food — enough food for 20,000 meals every day of the year — but current economic conditions could make that difficult.
Fortunately, each of you reading this letter has the power to contribute by attending this year’s ball, celebrating with all of Asheville as we gather to share our common vision of a hunger-free WNC. One in six of our neighbors need you.
Hunger has a cure. It’s all of us working together in MANNA’s mission to involve, educate and unite people in the work to end hunger in WNC.
For more information, visit mannafoodbank.org.
— Joshua Stack