Thermo Fisher Scientific: Changing the Plate For Good

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Impact Is Making a Difference for WNC Families

We often talk about how people can make an impact in the fight against hunger here in the mountains of North Carolina. In our line of work, that impact is measureable: Food donations go straight to those that need them; fund donations support and expand our food programs so we can source more food and reach more people; and time donations – a.k.a. volunteering – help us stretch a dollar by supplying us with the much-needed human power to accomplish our daily work here at MANNA. These three avenues of impact are vital to our mission to end hunger.

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Thermo Fisher Scientific employees race the clock – and each other – for their annual bulk food packing event this past August. This is the third year they have held this competition, and they successfully packed 12,500 lbs of pinto beans which they donated to MANNA to send to families across WNC.

Sometimes we get lucky and connect with a group of people that can do all that and more, and that’s where Thermo Fisher Scientific really stands out. These dedicated employees recently completed their third annual bulk food packing event and competition to benefit MANNA (learn more about this fabulous event here), and continue to volunteer their time, raise money, and engage in community work to help struggling families across Western North Carolina. But this company is helping in a way that connects their business to MANNA’s mission to end hunger in a unique way.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is an international biotechnology product development company with a manufacturing location in Asheville, and they have the ability to not just be a part of the fight to end hunger, but to actually change the food that ends up on the plates of families across Western North Carolina that need it. How is this possible?

The Nutritional Need

As you might have heard, MANNA recently completed a two-year renovation project to improve our capacity to warehouse fresh, perishable foods by dramatically increasing refrigerated and freezer space. This renovation is a major investment by the MANNA community to provide more nutritionally rich foods like fresh produce, dairy products, and meat, to those of us struggling to bridge a grocery gap. Families struggling to make ends meet often purchase the cheapest available food simply because they have no choice. Cheaper foods are often high in sugar and low in nutrients, and chronic food insecurity places people at risk for an array of health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure. MANNA’s focus on nutrition is because of this increased need, and here’s where Thermo Fisher Scientific comes in.

Keeping Food Fresh

thermo fiisher community table fridge donation

The Community Table of Jackson County is just one of MANNA’s many partners that have benefited from Thermo Fisher Scientific’s units. Community Table volunteers Wyatt and Bella show off their latest unit.

As MANNA has increased our refrigerated and freezer space to safely acquire, store, and distribute fresh foods, our partner agencies – the pantries, shelters, ministries, and other direct food assistance organizations that we work with – also need to be able to house this perishable food until they can get it out to their communities. Thermo Fisher Scientific has been donating commercial-grade refrigeration and freezer units that MANNA then provides to our partner agencies, ensuring that the healthy food we are sourcing can be made available to our clients. These fridges and freezers mean that our partners have the ability to receive more perishable food – the very food that is vital to our clients’ health and well being. Thermo Fisher Scientific has donated over 125 units to date!

Changing the Plate

Now, something extraordinary is happening. Because of this partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the food that 217ends up on the plates of our clients is changing. As more and more fresh food moves through our network, MANNA partners are able to provide that fresh food to clients, and our clients plates now have more fresh produce, more calcium-rich dairy, and more protein-dense meats to balance out and complement the non-perishable foods that are so common at food banks and pantries.

Thanks to these donated refrigeration units from Thermo Fisher Scientific, the dedication of our partner network, and the ongoing community support that refuses to accept hunger as a reality in the lives of our WNC families, we are changing the plate for good.