Walmart Foundation grant will provide thousands of meals for children in WNC

Press release from MANNA FoodBank:

Walmart Foundation Grant Will Provide Thousands of Meals for Hungry Children in Western North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, NC May 14, 2014: MANNA FoodBank announced today that it is the recipient of a $72,520 Walmart Foundation State Giving Program Grant. This grant will enable MANNA to double the number of children served in this year’s MANNA Summer Pack food program. Counties with especially high food insecurity rates will be given priority, as will locations where there are not adequate resources from other programs.


For thousands of children across Western North Carolina, the end of school means the end of access to nutritious meals.  Each school year over 51,000 school children in our public schools are eligible for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  In an effort to give more children access to food when school is out, MANNA launched the MANNA Summer Pack Food Program. Last year, it served over 500 children in 5 WNC counties.

In 2014, the summer food program will reach even further. Last year’s participating counties included Madison, Jackson, Cherokee, Clay, and Mitchell; this year Macon and Graham counties will be added to the program roster. In many of these areas, 3 out of 10 children don’t have access to the food they need for an active, healthy life. Overall, the rate of childhood food insecurity in our region is 4 to 8% higher than the national average.  “The food insecurity numbers for children in Western North Carolina are very concerning,” says MANNA Youth Program Manager Beth Stahl. “We are very grateful to the Walmart Foundation. This grant will allow us to expand our current initiative and get hundreds more children the food they need to grow and thrive this summer.”

“The Walmart Foundation is delighted to be supporting MANNA FoodBank and their Summer Pack food program,” said Kathryn Wiseman, Manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Walmart.  “Through this grant, we are hopeful that children in Western North Carolina will receive the nutritious food they need and deserve this summer.”

The Walmart Foundation grant will allow MANNA to give participating children a sizeable box of vital nutrition each week. An estimated 90,000 pounds of nutritious food will be delivered over the course of the summer. MANNA distributes the packs by partnering with schools and church pantries. These partners deliver the packs into the hands of the children in need through volunteers, home delivery, summer schools/programs, and at USDA Summer Food Service Program sites in their respective counties.


About MANNA Food Bank

MANNA FoodBank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Western North Carolina since 1983. As an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, the mission of MANNA FoodBank is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA serves 211 community-based non-profit food assistance agencies in 16 Western North Carolina counties and distributed 12.8 million pounds of food in 2013. To view MANNA’s Annual Report for 2013, or for more information, visit or call 828-299-FOOD.


About the State Giving Program at Walmart

Last year, the Walmart Foundation’s North Carolina State Giving Program awarded more than $1.3 million to local organizations such as the Urban League of Central Carolinas, Classroom Central Inc., Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte, among many others. In North Carolina, a team of local associates determine needs within each state, review eligible grant applications and make funding recommendations to the Walmart Foundation.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Eligible applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum funding criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at

In 2012, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind contributions around the world. This includes $1 billion in cash and in-kind gifts in the United States and $82.2 million in cash and in-kind gifts in international markets. In addition, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Logistics associates volunteered more than 2.2 million hours, generating $18 million to U.S. nonprofits.


About Philanthropy at Walmart 

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit


About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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