What’s new in food: MANNA FoodBank celebrates 40 years

DANCE PARTY: : MANNA FoodBank’s 40-year anniversary celebration will include a “through-the-decades dance party” with music by DJ Molly Parti. Photo by Scott Duncan

MANNA FoodBank marks four decades of “setting the table together” in Western North Carolina at its 40th anniversary celebration at The Orange Peel on Thursday, Aug. 24, 5:30-9 p.m.

Local DJ Molly Parti will spin tunes for a “MANNA-through-the-decades dance party,” celebrating community partnerships and people who have played roles in shaping what has become the largest hunger relief organization in Western North Carolina.

MANNA, which has distributed over 300 million pounds of food — equal to 250 million meals — since 1983, is also lauding the return of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort as a premier platinum partner for this year’s signature events and The Biltmore Co. as the anniversary party’s presenting sponsor. The $40,000 sponsorship provides approximately 1.2 million meals, says Mary Nesbitt, MANNA chief development officer, in a press release.

“At a time when the need for food across our mountains is at an all-time high, this vital support … is something for which we are extremely honored and deeply grateful to receive.”

Last month MANNA and its 200 partner organizations provided emergency food support to over 150,000 people, including in the Qualla Boundary.

“One thing that has been so striking about reflecting on the last 40 years … is that our community shows up,” says Kara Irani, MANNA’s marketing and communications director. “Right now, our volunteers and partners are moving over 50,000 pounds of food every single day to serve this need.”

Tickets to the anniversary are $40 and include handcrafted popsicles from Buggy Pops, as well as a snack bar with WNC brands such as Poppy’s Handmade Popcorn, Asheville Pretzel Company and Hickory Nut Gap. Each ticket provides around 160 meals to those in need.

The Orange Peel is at 101 Biltmore Ave. For more information, visit avl.mx/cwy.


Not Another Supper Club’s first dinner party at Mother’s, scheduled for Monday, Aug. 21, sold out quickly. The monthly dinner — which has been held at a private, undisclosed location for over a year — is now hosted at Mother’s newest location on the South Slope because founders Jack Sweeney, Will Warmath and Grey Sigmon wanted to make it accessible to the broader community.

“The impression we want to make for this event is not one of exclusivity, and it certainly isn’t a fine dining tasting menu,” says Sigmon. “We all have a lot of fun preparing and serving dishes that are creative and approachable, with ingredients … that people may not be familiar with. All of the courses are shareable plates meant to be passed around the table and enjoyed together with your closest friends — and total strangers. We have a real good time when we go out to eat together, and our goal is to foster an environment that does the same for the rest of our community.”

The menu, which is not released before the event, is composed of dishes made from local and seasonal ingredients — this month’s will feature chanterelle mushrooms, sweet summer peppers, okra and tomatoes. Dishes are explained as they are served to attendees.

Some dishes that have been served at recent suppers include stinging nettle spaghetti and agretti, burnt toast ice cream with rhubarb and asparagus, country ham and pea shoot sabayon.

Mother is at 244 Short Coxe Ave. For more information on Not Another Supper Club, visit avl.mx/cx2.

Harvesting community

The second annual HarvestFest — a celebration of farmers, music and community — will be held at Olivette Riverside Park on Sunday, Aug. 27, 3-6 p.m. The event will benefit the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Double SNAP for Fruits and Vegetables, an incentive program for SNAP customers at farmers markets.

“HarvestFest is one way our community addresses food insecurity in our area while supporting our local farmers,” says Ron Simblist, founder and CEO of Chatt Hills Music, who is partnering with Olivette Riverside Community and Farm on the event.

All wine and beer proceeds from Wicked Weed Brewing and Vīdl Winery will also go toward the Double SNAP program. Frios Gourmet pops will offer popsicles, and Asheville Plays! Snack Wagon will have “munchies” such as popcorn available for purchase.

Event organizers will honor local food growers and raisers by giving free entry to farmers and their families. Farmers will also receive a gift bag, drink ticket and free doughnuts at the VIF, or “Very Important Farmers,” section.

Bluegrass music that integrates blues, rock, pop and country will be provided by The Barefoot Movement — who does perform barefoot.

Olivette Riverside Park is at 172 Old Macedonia Road. For more information, visit avl.mx/by6.

Using your noodles

West Asheville is home to a new Asian restaurant. Mizu Noodle opened earlier this month, offering an extensive menu of noodle dishes, poke bowls, burritos, ramen, curries and dim sum.

Mizu is next to and owned by the proprietors of YZ Asian Market, and is open daily from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., with Friday and Saturday hours extending to 10 p.m. While the restaurant does not currently offer delivery, online ordering is available for pickup meals.

Mizu Noodle is at 22 New Leicester Highway. For more information, visit avl.mx/cxb.


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About Andy Hall
Andy Hall graduated from The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After working at the United States Capitol for ten years, she has returned to her native state to enjoy the mountains — and finally become a writer.

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