Update on MANNA FoodBank’s 2020 Blue Jean Ball

MANNA has made the necessary decision to cancel the 2020 Blue Jean Ball that was originally scheduled for Saturday, June 6. To our long-time Blue Jean Ball supporters, friends, sponsors, and culinary partners – we will miss being together for what was to be our 21st Annual Blue Jean Ball. But we know, for everyone’s health and well being, that this is what we must do.

Although Blue Jean Ball is cancelled this year… hunger isn’t. As food insecurity rises across WNC due to the pandemic, more people are turning to MANNA than ever in our history. In fact, many of our most dedicated Blue Jean Ball partners, who make this event such an incredible experience, have been affected deeply. 

Needless to say, financial support for our mission is needed now, more than ever. Blue Jean Ball is MANNA’s largest fundraising event of the year, so we’re getting creative about how we can preserve the spirit and soul of Blue Jean Ball, while also raising the needed funds to continue serving the thousands of families facing economic distress across Western North Carolina. After all, that is the point of our favorite “party with a purpose.”

During the month of June, we invite you to join us in #MANNAfestingHope.

We will look back at Blue Jean Ball events of years past, lift up the Sponsors who have committed to supporting us despite this change, and celebrate our Culinary Partners who are the heart of Blue Jean Ball. Plus, we’re going to give you a sneak peak of plans for the 2021 Blue Jean Ball! But most importantly: You’ll have the opportunity to purchase a ticket to what would have been Blue Jean Ball 2020, join the Blue Jean Ball Sustainers Club, and get a direct look at how MANNA is not only feeding people, but bringing hope to those who need it most.

Our deep thanks to every individual who has helped build Blue Jean Ball into what it is, and will be again: an incredible celebration of community, and a heck of a  fun party.

Stay tuned!



Giving back to your community and helping a neighbor in need is fun and rewarding.

MANNA holds two annual special events every year – Blue Jean Ball, usually at the beginning of June, and Empty Bowls, in the early fall.

Both events are supported by MANNA’s sponsors, who have helped us grow these events into smashing successes.

What is special about a MANNA event? You will discover friends both old and new who care about their neighbors and about ending hunger. You will also be treated to a first-class special event experience. We receive donations and support from the best restaurants, businesses, and entertainers in Western North Carolina. Your ticket price will go a long way to helping end hunger in our region; every dollar that MANNA receives helps provide food for four meals.

Blue Jean Ball

The Blue Jean Ball is held outside MANNA’s warehouses along the banks of the Swannanoa River. Ticket holders enjoy small tasting plates from over twenty of Asheville’s finest restaurants and caterers, a varied selection of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, and great live music that packs the dance floor every year.

The Blue Jean Ball is MANNA’s largest fundraising event. Every dollar raised or donated to the food bank helps provide enough food for 4 meals. Current estimates in our region indicate that over 100,000 people in Western North Carolina don’t have continuous access to three square meals a day. MANNA partners with 200+ agencies throughout our region to get food to those facing hunger. In 2018-2019, MANNA distributed enough food to provide over 45,000 meals a day throughout the 16 counties in WNC.

Blue Jean Ball 2019: 20th Anniversary: FOODSTOCK

Blue Jean Ball 2018: ALOHA from the Swannanoa

Blue Jean Ball 2017: Pirates of the Swannanoa

Blue Jean Ball 2016: Fire & Ice

Blue Jean Ball 2015: Bowl Full of Soul







Empty Bowls

This unique and memorable event celebrates community, art, and collaboration while bringing awareness to the very real problem of hunger.  Attendees choose a bowl handmade by local artisans and enjoy a meal of soup, bread, and dessert. The souvenir bowl they take home reminds them of all the empty bowls in the world.

Everything for the event is donated: the soup, the event space, the desserts, and over 1,000 bowls.  This allows for all the profits to go directly toward feeding our neighbors facing hunger in Western North Carolina.

In addition to the bowls that each ticket holder can select and take home, there is a collector’s corner at Empty Bowls, where special bowls selected by the artists are available for purchase.  One hundred percent of the purchase price of these works of art goes to provide food throughout MANNA’s 16-county service area.

Third-Party Events

Are you an individual, group or organization that wants to hold a benefit or fundraising event for MANNA? If so, please email Kelly Schwartz, Special Events Manager.

Food Drives

Interested in hosting a food drive? Check out all the information you’ll need to get started here!