Throughout our 16 county service area, including the Qualla Boundary, MANNA distributes food through a partner network of over 200 agencies. These partner agencies distribute food directly to families and neighbors in their community according to their individual programs. The MANNA Partner Agency Network includes pantries, soup kitchens, emergency food suppliers, faith-based organizations, and other nonprofits who provide this food directly to members of their community.
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MANNA’s mobile community markets are made possible with a partnership between our organization and with a community group, business, nonprofit, or a passionate individual with strong connections to their immediate area, which we call Community Partners. MANNA helps our Community Partners host free food distributions through our mobile pantry, the MANNA Community Market, to continue to stretch across the region and reach neighborhoods where people are facing challenges to accessing the food they need.
In Western North Carolina, 1 in 4 children experience food insecurity. We are committed to ensuring that children throughout our region have access to the food they need. The primary way we reach children is our work with schools.
MANNA partners with over 100 elementary, middle, and high schools throughout WNC. From the most rural parts of our service area to our region’s more urban centers, our connection with schools ensures students are nourished so they can learn and grow.
As we often say, our volunteers are the “heartbeet” of everything that we do at MANNA. Our dedicated volunteers touch so many areas of MANNA’s work. From sorting and packing food, candling eggs, driving trucks and delivering food to our neighbors, answering phone calls on our Helpline, representing MANNA at community events and so much more, our volunteers are consistently working to alleviate food insecurity in our service area.
In the fiscal year 2020-2021, nearly 2,500 volunteers provided over 54,500 hours of support, which is the equivalent of 28 full-time staff. Without the wonderful individuals and groups who donate their time, we could not do the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina.
Volunteers range from individuals to families, business groups, faith-based groups, local clubs and so much more. All of these volunteers share the same mission: working to end hunger and food insecurity in WNC.
Food Partners and Donors
While MANNA purchases food, the majority of our food sourcing comes from donations. In the fiscal year 2020-2021, 63% of food MANNA distributed was donated through federal programs, national donors, local donors, national manufacturers and other commercial food industry organizations, food drives, and by individuals.
MANNA works to build and deepen relationships with local and national produce donors to rescue produce that might otherwise be thrown away. Our efforts to provide more fresh produce has resulted in millions of pounds of perfectly good food redirected from the landfill to fill families’ plates instead.
Corporate partnership with MANNA means working together to help fill thousands of empty plates every day for our neighbors across Western North Carolina. Making a financial donation to MANNA’s mission of ending hunger across WNC is deeply impactful. Every dollar at MANNA helps us provide enough food for 4 meals. We also have many other opportunities for corporate partners to get involved such as volunteering, food drives or through support of our mission-centered operations.
Foundations and Funding Partners
The work of addressing hunger in WNC is fueled by support from a wide range of donors. MANNA receives support from various foundations and funding partners who are committed to ending hunger in our region.
Our largest source of support is individual donors. These donors help ensure that MANNA can be there for those experiencing food insecurity in our community every year.
The passionate dedication from our partners, such as our individual donors, inspires us to manage our resources with the highest level of integrity and stewardship. MANNA is honored to have been awarded 4 stars by Charity Navigator, the highest rating possible, for 11 consecutive years, placing the organization in the top 2% of charities across the country for operational and fiscal responsibility.