Gather Together: The Haywood County Gleaners gather excess produce from local growers to donate to food security efforts. But the group realized much of their effort was going to waste and looked for ways to preserve more of the bounty.

Preserving food security: Canning foods for donation

For many of us, when we think of preserved foods, we picture our grandparents carefully canning tomatoes from their garden, or the menu at a trendy restaurant featuring sauerkraut or pickled quail eggs. But imagine what food preservation means to someone experiencing food insecurity or to a donation grower faced with excess produce rotting in the field, and the image becomes something quite different.

Image courtesy of Asheville Wing War

Asheville Wing War approaches its fourth year of competitio­n

So far, confirmed warriors include Mojo Taco Lounge, Luella’s Bar-B-Que, Haywood Lounge, the Social, Foggy Mountain Brewpub, Scully’s Bar and Grill, King James Public House, Moe’s Original Bar B Que, Creekside Taphouse and the Barleycorn. A few additional competitor slots remain, and three of the listed participants — Barleycorn, Moe’s and Creekside — are in the game to defend a title.

BRIDGE BUILDERS: MANNA FoodBank Executive Director Cindy Threlkeld, left, and Volunteer Coordinator Max Gruber, right, are working to alleviate food insecurity in WNC. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

The widening gap

Newly released data pulled from Feeding America’s 2012 Map the Meal Gap study shows a 2 percent increase in food insecurity in Western North Carolina. In that year, the study found, 15.3 percent of the region’s people lacked consistent access to enough food to meet their nutritional needs, up from 14.9 percent in 2011.

Show up to showdown-attachment0

Show up to showdown

There are as many pizza preferences as there are toppings: thin crust, deep-dish, N.Y.-style, Napoli … pocket. But it seems that when a slice is just right, all denominations are satisfied. Cue the Asheville Pizza Showdown, happening Aug. 12 at Toy Boat Community Arts Center, hosted by the Garage at Biltmore. “Hot pizza, cold beer and great times: that’s what we’re trying to make and put the recipe together to create this event and make it extremely successful,” says Gary Charles of G Social Media, who is helping plan the event.

MANNA Foodbank’s Blue Jean Ball

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 […]

Gov. Perdue addresses General Assembly tonight; new legislation could aid state’s food banks-attachment0

Gov. Perdue addresses General Assembly tonight; new legislatio­n could aid state’s food banks

The new governor of the state of North Carolina will deliver her first biennial State of the State address tonight to a joint assembly of the N.C. Legislature—and to the public via live television. Meanwhile, legislative bills have moved forward to aid the state’s food banks, including WNC’s MANNA FoodBank. Also, Perdue will speak in Asheville on Thursday.

The Biz

Asheville’s MANNA FoodBank has always had a tough time stocking enough provisions to supply the various relief agencies it serves across Western North Carolina. But the current jump in food prices is creating an unprecedented crisis, Executive Director Kitty Schaller reports. Facing a growing need: MANNA FoodBank, the Buncombe County food-stamp unit and vairous relief […]