A letter from MANNA Food Bank Executive Director, Cindy Threlkeld:
As MANNA wraps up our fiscal year, we want to take a moment to thank you for your support. We become so engaged in the logistics and daily challenges that we don’t often pause to look at what we have accomplished in partnership with our donors, volunteers, board and staff. Here are some highlights of what you helped make possible during the period of July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014:
- We distributed 14.1 million pounds of food through our partner agency network in our 16 county service area—a 23% increase from the previous year.
- Of that amount, 3.3 million pounds was fresh produce.
- We assisted 1,026 people with applications or re-certification for food stamp benefits, which provided families with approximately $950,000 worth of groceries.
- A total of 8,866 volunteers contributed more than 60,000 hours of service. That is the equivalent of 29 full-time employees.
Unfortunately, we also had to turn away more than 500,000 pounds of nutritious food simply because we did not have the space to receive it. Included in that amount was 5 tractor trailer loads worth of frozen meat.
We can’t continue to let that happen when 27% of the children in WNC live in families that struggle with hunger!
If you have stopped by the MANNA campus in the past couple of weeks, you know we are hard at work to renovate and expand our existing space, including construction of a large new freezer and cooler. The entire project will take place over the next year and a half. We are in the quiet phase of a capital campaign called The Space to Erase Hunger that you will hear more about it in the weeks ahead. We are quite excited about what this will mean to MANNA’s future ability to address the needs of our neighbors in need.
One thing none of us ever wants to forget: The statistics about hunger in our community are not just numbers. They have faces and names. They may be the people that live next door, children that we pass on the street, or the senior we sit next to in church.
So if you are only going to remember one statistic, let it be this: If 1 out of 6 people in WNC struggle with hunger, then 5 out of 6 can help.
Thanks for responding to the call to create a Hunger-Free WNC!