Every year, we work tirelessly to combat hunger and food insecurity throughout WNC. This year, however, our work has increased and been re-imagined.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March and through the end of July, we have increased the amount of food we are distributing by 31% on average compared to the same time period last year. Additionally, MANNA and our partners are now serving almost 100,000 people per month on average throughout WNC. This is a staggering increase in the number of people needing emergency food support – up 60% since the pandemic began. This past June, we distributed 1 million more pounds of food than we did in June of 2019. This has been a huge team effort, thanks to the dedication of everyone involved, including our operations team, volunteers, and partner agencies.
Partner agencies have been on the front lines providing food boxes for families seeking food assistance. While the increase in need has been a constant battle for partner agencies, they also faced the challenge of re-imagining their operations so that they could ensure the safety of their clients and volunteers. All partner agencies had to alter their operations so that they were a low contact drive through. Learn more about what partner agencies have been doing to continue providing food.
Our food distribution program isn’t the only program, however, that has seen an exponential increase since the beginning of the pandemic. Our Food Helpline has been fielding an average 40% increase in calls. Since the beginning of March, over 4,000 households have contacted our Helpline seeking food assistance.
The pandemic has been an unprecedented time in many of our lives, and here at MANNA, that is no different. We’ve worked harder than ever to rise and meet the increasing need. Between March and July, thanks to many volunteer hands, donor funds, and our dear partners in distribution, we have provided 8.7 million meals for our neighbors across WNC.
YOU ARE THE DIFFERENCE
If you are part of this incredible work over the last six months, we strongly urge you to share this impact with your friends, coworkers, and family. YOU are instrumental in making meals happen for so many…and not just meals, but true hope and relief, even if for a moment. Thank you.
THE LONG ROAD AHEAD
We have come this far only because of the collective efforts of so many incredible communities here in our mountains. It truly takes all hands coming together to get through times like these. While we have been able to make over 8 million meals possible for our community so far, we know the road ahead is long and uncertain, and the families we are serving need our community to continue stepping up. Read on to see how you can help right now, under the Calls to Action section!