Press release from MANNA FoodBank:
This September, MANNA FoodBank, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, will mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring an end to hunger. Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.
In the 16 Western North Carolina counties MANNA serves, more than 100,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes 1 in 4 kids who do not have enough to eat.
MANNA works daily to address the issue of hunger in WNC by rescuing food and distributing it to residents across WNC through a 200-member partner network that includes pantries, shelters, kitchens, and other food assistance programs. In 2017/2018, MANNA distributed a record 18.2 million pounds of food, which is the equivalent of 15.2 million meals.
September marks the 11th year the Feeding America network of food banks has organized this annual call to action and 11th year MANNA FoodBank has participated in the Hunger Action Month movement. The Hunger Action Month 2018 campaign asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.
“Food is the foundation for everything we do in life; without it we can’t be our best, most productive selves,” said Hannah Randall, CEO of MANNA FoodBank. “Our partner pantries have seen a distinct increase in the number of working families turning to us for support over the last few years, and we are working harder than ever to simply meet the existing need for food. Children in WNC are especially vulnerable; 1 in 4 children in our region do not know where their next meal will come from, and that is a staggering reality that we simply refuse to tolerate.”
“I’ve spent many days on the road this past year, visiting food banks, food pantries, and meal programs and meeting people who are facing hunger,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “I’ve seen firsthand the anguish that food insecurity and hunger can cause. It is always heartbreaking to meet a mother or father who fears that they will not be able to feed their children. They know that their children cannot reach their full potential if they don’t have enough to eat.”
Hunger Action Day®, the second Thursday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact.
This year, on September 13th, MANNA FoodBank asks supporters to wear orange—the color of hunger awareness—and to educate themselves and their communities about the growing need for food here in Western North Carolina.
In WNC, MANNA FoodBank has many activities planned to engage the community in hunger relief and awareness building, including:
- Sept. 1-30: Sweet Dreams, Full Plates: Hospitality Feeds Families
- 30 local hotels will compete to provide food to WNC by asking guests to forgo a service, and in exchange the hotel will make a donation to MANNA on their behalf. For every dollar raised, MANNA can provide 3.5 meals. Last year, this campaign raised enough money to provide for more than 100,000 meals.
- Visit sweetdreamsfullplates.org for more information, and to track the weekly competition.
- Sept. 6: Farm to Village Dinner to benefit MANNA FoodBank
- Biltmore Village restaurants are coming together for an incredible, food-lover’s dream dinner, complete with wine and beer-paired courses, right in the middle of Boston Way in the heart of Biltmore Village!
- Tickets available via Historic Biltmore Village’s event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1723448757753726/
- Sept. 12: Ingles Day at the Mountain State Fair
- Bring 5 cans of Laura Lynn products to donate to MANNA at the fair gates in exchange for free admission
- Sept. 13: Hunger Action Day!
- Wear orange to raise awareness for hunger in WNC
- Sept. 16: Grapes, Grain, and Graham: Wine and Beer Dinner with Highland Brewing, Sovereign Remedies, and the Biltmore Winery at Highland Brewing to benefit MANNA FoodBank
- This ticketed dinner will feature four Appalachian-inspired courses expertly paired with a Highland beer and a Biltmore wine. More information available at https://highlandbrewing.com/events?event=8902
- Sept. 20: Community Night at Highland Brewing
- Visit Highland Brewing, where they are generously donating $1 for every beer sold in the tasting room!
- Sept. 21: PINCHED: A Simulated Activity In Understanding Poverty
- MANNA will facilitate a PINCHED Simulation for the current Leadership Asheville class as part of their curriculum. Media is invited to attend and observe.
- Sept. 22: Preserve Communities Host Grand Prix Calcutta to benefit MANNA FoodBank
- Sept. 24: 17th Annual Empty Bowls Lunch and Dinner events
- Help end hunger in WNC by attending Empty Bowls lunch or dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Biltmore Village. Every ticket sold will help MANNA provide enough food for 140 meals for WNC families currently facing empty tables.
To learn more about MANNA FoodBank and other ways you can get involved for Hunger Action Month in Western North Carolina, please visit MANNAFoodBank.org.