For 31 years, MANNA FoodBank has been rescuing food from being thrown away and has gotten it into the homes of people in need. Today there are more than 107,000 people in Western North Carolina who without our help might otherwise go hungry. As MANNA has grown to meet the need in our region, we have outgrown our space. In recent times, we have had to decline tractor trailer loads of free food, frozen chicken, yogurt and other nutritious foods because we didn’t have the space to receive it for redistribution.
Our answer came at the advice of logistics and efficiency experts from Walmart and Ingles: reconfigure your current space, and add additional freezer and cooler capacity and a produce room. A plan was designed, and we launched the Quiet Phase of the campaign to fund the improvements. On April 14, honorary Campaign Chair David Holt announced the kickoff of the Public Phase of the campaign. To date, just over $2.5 million of our $3 million goal has been raised. Included in this total are donations from nearly 50% of our 191 weekly volunteers. Besides their generous gift of time, together they have contributed over $23,000 toward our goal.
In addition to raising money, we are seeking in-kind and material donations to help reduce the project costs. Doug Ferguson of Design Logic has donated countless hours of design consultation; and the McKibbon Group is providing free office space in the BB&T building for our administrative staff to use while their offices are under construction. Karpen Steel has promised to help with window and door frames, while Tucker Materials and Benton Roofing are determining how they can provide in-kind support as well.
Every dollar we save and raise gets us that much closer to reaching our goal and that much closer to having adequate space to receive nutritious, perishable foods for families, children and seniors in our region who struggle to make ends meet. From beginning to end, it’s all about food.
To learn more about our nation’s wasted food, check out this podcast: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/almost-half-americas-food-go-waste/#.VYMVIfRjU_g.facebook