Making Miracles Happen

At MANNA FoodBank, Miracles Can Come in Unusual Packages

Beyond being a food bank, where our primary focus is to get food to our 225 partner pantries to serve those in need across WNC, MANNA FoodBank is also a warm and welcoming place for those seeking assistance. The following excerpt is a story from our Chief Development Officer, Mary Nesbitt, and her recent meaningful interaction with a family needing food support.

“A few weeks ago, we had very special visitors. As I was walking through our reception area, I noticed a man and two children standing in our lobby. They had come to the food bank for an emergency food box which our receptionist had gone to retrieve.

Students from French Broad River Academy work in the MANNA Volunteer Center Clean Room, packing emergency food boxes for families struggling with hunger. These students know that miracles can come in all forms, including in a box.

When I waved and said “Hi” to the children, the youngest child, a boy, held up his hand as if to invite me to give him a high five. I lifted up my hand, and his dad said, “Today is his birthday and he is five.” 

I knelt down to the boy’s eye level. “Wow! Happy Birthday,” I said. The boy smiled really big, happy that today was his special day. His father added, “Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday.” I smiled. “How cool is that?!” I exclaimed, while thinking to myself of how hard it must be for this father, to be seeking food support for his children on their birthdays. “How old are you going to be?” I asked the girl. “Ten,” she said. We chatted a bit more as our staff gathered food for them. 

When our receptionist returned with food for the family, I quietly asked her if we had a birthday cake for this family and she smiled. “I asked the birthday boy what he likes,” she whispered, “and he said he wanted donuts.” She had, of course, found the biggest, best box of donuts that we had, and sent it home with them! It is in moments like these that we are poignantly reminded of all of the miracles, large and small, that MANNA has the privilege of making happen in so many lives.”

-Mary Nesbitt
Chief Development Officer, MANNA FoodBank

Together, our supporters, volunteers, and donors truly are making miracles happen and it is humbling and heartwarming to know that because of everyone involved in our great work – that there is food where there was none, and donuts for a five-year-old boy’s birthday!

Seasoned Professionals: French Broad River Academy Students are regular volunteers in the MANNA Volunteer Center. They have sorted donations, performed produce quality checks, packed MANNA Packs, and are shown here packing emergency food boxes. They work hard and smart when they come to MANNA, and are some of our very best, experienced volunteers.