Ingles Giving Tree marks 25th anniversary with Nov. 20 lighting celebration

TRIMMING THE TREE: Volunteers construct the 2016 Ingles Giving Tree.
TRIMMING THE TREE: Volunteers construct the 2016 Ingles Giving Tree. Photo courtesy of MANNA FoodBank

PRESS RELEASE from MANNA FoodBank:

ABOUT THE EVENT:
Ingles Giving Tree Lighting Celebration!
Monday, November 20, 5:00 PM
Ingles Markets and MANNA FoodBank invite the community to attend a very special 25th annual lighting of the Ingles Giving Tree at the Asheville Mall on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M.

The Ingles Giving Tree is a 10-ton construction of non-perishable food items donated by Ingles Markets, and constructed and decorated by MANNA FoodBank staff and volunteers. Mrs. Laura Ingle lights the tree and musical entertainment will be provided by the WD Williams Elementary and Pisgah Elementary School Chorus, the Asheville Choral Society, and special for this year, will include an audience singalong!

Asheville, NC (11-6-17) – It’s more than just a Christmas tree; and, while it is constructed completely from food, it is also more than just food. For thousands of families living with the daily reality of hunger in Western North Carolina, the Ingles Giving Tree is a symbol of hope and compassion.

MANNA FoodBank is thrilled to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ingles Giving Tree this year. In the past 25 years, the Ingles Giving Tree has made a huge impact in the lives of people facing empty plates during the holidays. The Ingles Giving Tree is an annual holiday fixture, and has supported MANNA’s work to end hunger in WNC by encouraging the local community to donate food and funds.

Since 1993—the first year of what has grown to be a favorite family holiday tradition—the Ingles Giving Tree alone has provided over 1.6 million pounds of food—contributed by Ingles Markets and community food drive donations—and has raised over $1.3 million dollars, both from Ingles’ matching donations and community contributions. This combined giving history has had a major impact, providing the food for over 5.4 million meals to WNC families experiencing hunger.

“When you look at what Ingles Markets has done over the last 25 years, just through the Ingles Giving Tree, the results are astounding,” says Hannah Randall, Chief Executive Officer for MANNA FoodBank. “Ingles’ commitment to our local community is undeniable; they put their food, money, and their hearts into making our region stronger, and what they have helped to accomplish is a holiday miracle for many families served through the MANNA partner pantry network.”

“We are proud to partner with MANNA FoodBank year-round to help provide food for families facing hunger,” said Ron Freeman, CFO of Ingles Markets, in a statement. “The holidays can be especially difficult for families stretching their budgets to cover the basics. We invite our customers to celebrate the lighting of the tree and to join in giving in whatever way they can.”

Ingles Markets is MANNA FoodBank’s most long-standing grocery partner, donating food and funds to MANNA since 1983, when MANNA first started distributing food.
Ingles Giving Tree

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About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at gsmith@mountainx.com.

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