Feeding Avery Families (FAF) is a non-profit organization in Avery County, North Carolina that works to promote food security for their neighbors. In 2021, FAF distributed over 539,000 pounds of food through programs, such as Backpacks for Kids and Backpacks for Seniors, as well as their Friday distributions and monthly MANNA Community Market.
Serving residents of Avery County, the staff and volunteers are aware of the unique challenges that accompany food distribution in rural communities. Tammy Woodie, a board member and regular volunteer for FAF, says that “transportation is a real issue in Avery. Many people in our area don’t have access to a car. That is why we encourage folks to pick up food at our distributions for their neighbors and family friends.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, FAF has utilized a drive-through model for their MANNA Community Markets. Throughout that time, FAF has seen an uptick in seniors looking to access food. Furthermore, many of the neighbors that access food at the monthly MANNA Community Markets also attend the weekly Friday food pantry distributions. According to Tammy and the rest of the FAF team, the need remains high in their region.
Tammy, however, is thankful that FAF is there and is able to serve the need that exists. At every distribution, the FAF team makes sure that all of their neighbors leave having experienced kindness and respect. Tammy greets each neighbor with a smile as their car pulls up to the line and volunteers load boxes of food into cars, while joking around and laughing with their neighbors. According to Tammy, the day of the MANNA Community Market is her favorite day of the month, simply because she gets to see her community – all of her neighbors and friends.
Thanks to Feeding Avery Families, countless families in their region have been given food and hope.