Learn About Partnership

MANNA FoodBank collaborates with communities across Western North Carolina in a variety of ways to ensure we can distribute food to our neighbors. These partnership opportunities include becoming a formal Partner Agency, a Community Partner who can host a MANNA Community Market, or a Referral Partner who can help direct neighbors to our Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and MANNA Food Helpline (1-800-820-1109) services. 

MANNA Partners

A Partner Agency is a 501c3 nonprofit or eligible religious organization that signs a formal agreement to order and receive food to serve from their own brick-and-mortar facility. MANNA’s Partner Agency Network, comprised of 250+ agencies, is the front line of food security work in WNC. Our partners provide food services to our neighbors with compassion and dignity, whether it be through food pantries or a community meal where people can come to make friends and enjoy a hot, nutritious meal together. We hold our partners to high standards for the quality of services they provide. Learn more about MANNA’s Neighbor-Centric Values (pdf).  

Community Partners are local organizations, institutions, government agencies, or businesses that assist in identifying food insecure areas and aid in the distribution of resources to these communities. Community Partners do not have a brick-and-mortar location; instead, they host a monthly mobile market in their area. These may be areas where no MANNA Partner Agency exists or where the Community Partner is working to eliminate barriers like transportation, language, safety, or other obstacles that prevent a specific community from accessing regular food resources. Community Partners are not required to do hunger relief work. They are often community leaders who have identified a need but don’t have the facility capacity to serve their community. We help fill that need by providing the food and assisting in creating a resource hub for the community. 

Our Referral Partners refer their neighbors to our MANNA Food Helpline. Available Monday-Friday from 9AM-4PM, our Helpline agents assist WNC neighbors in locating food resources, provide direction in applying/recertifying for SNAP benefits, and more. 

Become A Partner Agency

Basic Requirements for Agency Partnership 

To become a formal Partner Agency, an organization must distribute food somewhere in our 16-county service area—including the Qualla Boundary—and must be a federally tax-exempt organization. Partner agencies either hold 501c3 status, fall under a 501c3 umbrella, or are a church/religious organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Here’s a quick list of what you need to submit during the application process: 

  • Proof of Tax-Exempt Status 
  • Current annual budget 
  • Recent Licensed Professional Pest Control invoice 
  • Food Safety Training Certification 

Next Steps 

If your organization is eligible to a Partner Agency, next steps include:  

  1. Attending one of our bi-annual open houses. Register today for our next Open House and we will contact you.
  1. Completing the formal application and submit all required documents. 
  2. Completing a site visit and onboarding training

When you’ve completed these steps, congratulations! You’re now an official MANNA Partner Agency and you can begin accessing our food inventory to host free food distributions.  

Open House Sign Up

Connect with Us 

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a Partner Agency, reach out to the Agency Relations Manager for your county. 

Amy Grimes, Agency Relations Manager – West & Compliance 
(Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain) 

Kristen Ollila, Agency Relations Manager – East 
(Avery, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Transylvania, and Yancey) 

Lucy Phillips, Agency Relations Manager – Buncombe 

Become A Community Partner

Requirements for Community Partnership

To become a Community Partner with MANNA, an organization must distribute food somewhere in our 16-county service area—including the Qualla Boundary—and complete our MANNA Food Safety Training. We recommend our Community Partners attend an open house before filling out the Community Partnership application

Attend an Open House 

Each quarter, MANNA holds an open house for community members who want to learn more about what we do and how to get involved. The first step is to attend an upcoming MANNA Open House. The Open House is open to anyone in the community who wants to learn more about MANNA, hunger in WNC, and how to get involved. Before attending the Open House, review MANNA’s Neighbor-Centric Values (pdf). 

Open House Sign Up

Connect With Us

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Community Partner, e-mail Michael Stapleton, Mobile Programs Manager. 

Become A Referral Partner

If you’d like to learn more about creating a Referral Partnership, e-mail Gabby Pulig, Benefits and Support Services Manager.