MANNA Community Markets deliver free food to communities across Western North Carolina. In partnership with local community organizations, MANNA Community Markets (MCMs) provide direct food assistance support for people living in WNC across the region, particularly focusing on communities with a high level of food insecurity, and other marginalized communities facing obstacles to food access.
How It Works
After pre-work with the local community partner, including scheduling, logistics and training, the MCM truck arrives full of produce and grocery items, and is set up as a farmers’ market-style distribution. Local volunteers assist in setting up and running the market. Each market features shelf-stable foods, perishables, fresh produce, and assorted grocery and household items, as well as other sources of support for stabilizing a family’s grocery budget. As communities across WNC are unique, so is each market, and we strive to tailor each distribution to the community’s specific needs. Anyone in need of food can attend the market and shop for their family’s food need
Additional Support and Resources
A unique part of MANNA Community Markets include offering additional resources to address each community’s specific needs. MANNA FNS Outreach and Nutrition Works programs are two resources available in the community. While shopping the market, community members experience cooking demos, taste tests, and recipes, supported by our Nutrition Works team. Additionally, information on other local food agencies in their area, and assistance in understanding and signing up for food support programs, like SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) is available for anyone at the market. As well, we work with the community partner to identify other local services available to those who need help. While these services vary from community to community, these can include support with affordable housing, utility assistance, public transportation, and many others.
Become a Community Market Partner
Community Markets are most successful in partnership with local partners who know and understand the needs of their neighbors. MANNA partners with community organizations to bring the market resources to their area. Community hosts help determine the location, date, and time of the market, help promote the market to the neighborhood, and recruit volunteers to provide an excellent market experience for residents.
If you are interested in learning more about being a Community Market Partner, contact Leah Weidner for more information.