Learn About Partnership
MANNA FoodBank collaborates with communities across WNC in a variety of ways to ensure we can get food to our neighbors. These partnerships take form in 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 SNAP support & Food Helpline services.
A Partner Agency is a 501©3 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 around 240 agencies, is the front line of food security work in Western North Carolina. Our partners provide food services to our neighbors with compassion and dignity, whether it be through food pantries, where neighbors can come for a grocery store-style experience, or a community meal, where folks can come to make friends and enjoy a delicious meal together. Our partners are held to high standards for the quality of services they provide; learn more about our Neighbor-Centric Values here.
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. Often, these are areas where there is no MANNA Partner Agency, or where the Community Partner is working to eliminate barriers such as transportation, language, safety, or other obstacles that prevent a specific community from accessing regular food resources. Community Partners are not required to currently do hunger relief work. They are often community leaders who have identified a need, but don’t have facility capacity to serve their community. MANNA helps fill that need by bringing the food and assisting in creating a Resource Hub for the community.
Our Referral Partners refer their neighbors to our MANNA Food Helpline. The Food Helpline provides information about services near them, or get professional assistance in navigating and filling out a SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Application.
Become A Partner Agency
Basic Requirements for Agency Partnership
To become a formal Partner Agency with MANNA FoodBank, 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 501©3 status, fall under a 501©3 umbrella, or are a church/religious organization as recognized by the IRS.
Here’s a quick list of what we ask our Partner Agencies to submit during the application process:
- Proof of Tax-Exempt Status
- Current Annual Budget
- Recent Licensed Professional Pest Control Invoice
- Food Safety Training Certification
If your organization is eligible to become an official Partner Agency, here are the next steps.
- Attend one of our Quarterly Open Houses.
- Submit the Fit Quiz, to be reviewed by MANNA.
- Apply for partnership by completing the formal application and submitting the required documents.
- Complete a Site Visit and Onboarding Training.
When you have successfully completed these steps, your organization will be an official MANNA Partner Agency, and can begin accessing our food inventory to host free food distributions.
Connect with Us
If you are 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
Basic Requirements for Community Partnership
To become a Community Partner with MANNA FoodBank, an organization must distribute food somewhere in our 16-county service area, including the Qualla Boundary, and complete our MANNA Food Safety Training, found here. 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 FoodBank Open House. The Open House is open to anyone in the community who wants to learn more about MANNA, hunger in our community, and how to get involved. Before attending the Open House, we encourage you to take a look at MANNA’s Neighbor-Centric Values. After attending the Open House, your organization will have one week to complete the Partner Agency Fit Quiz to be invited to apply.
Connect With Us
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Community Partner, reach out to our Mobile Programs Manager, Leah Weidner.
Become A Referral Partner
If you are interested in learning more about Referral Partnership, reach out to our Benefits and Support Services Manager, Gabby Pulig.