A faithful MANNA volunteer sorts items at the Volunteer Center.


Monthly News from MANNA FoodBank



This month, we hear from our CEO Claire Neal on the current state of food insecurity and hunger in WNC.


Winner, Winner, 52 Dinners!

And don't miss:

  • Did You Know...
  • Recognitions + Gratitude

A Note From Our CEO, Claire Neal

The State of Hunger

Today I reach out to you not as the CEO of MANNA FoodBank, but as a fellow community member deeply invested in the well-being of our neighbors across Western North Carolina and the Qualla Boundary. We are so grateful for you and how you faithfully come alongside to support our neighbor in need.  

We want to share a brief update on the current state of hunger within our communities which is more pressing than ever. The rising costs of living—rent, utilities, food, and gas—have forced an additional 18.2% of our neighbors to seek our help this year. This staggering statistic translates to an average of 162,000+ individuals depending on MANNA and our incredible partner network each month. To put it into perspective, MANNA is currently serving more people than during the height of the 2020 shutdown and in fact the highest in our 40-year history. 

The Volunteer Center Floor at MANNA

Conversely, as disaster relief funds are going away, MANNA is not able to purchase as much food as we did during the pandemic without relief funding. Although we are working extremely hard to increase the amount of donated food, we have yet to reach our pre-pandemic levels of food donations.  

Although we are on track to provide approximately 21.2 million pounds of food or the equivalent of 17.1 million meals this year, a 6% increase over last year, we are still deeply concerned that the amount of food that we are able to provide is not keeping pace with the 18.2% increase in the number of our neighbors who are in great need of our support.  

Our communities are a tapestry woven with individuals each with their unique lived experiences—those working lower-wage jobs, seniors on fixed incomes, single parents striving to feed their children, individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities, and those facing situational poverty. Even those who once managed to make ends meet are now one unexpected expense away from not knowing where their next meals are coming from.  

We are inspired and awed by the challenges that we have overcome because of your care and compassion and are reminded on a daily basis about what is possible when good people share the same ethos.  

Additionally, we are energized in knowing that because we can provide four meals for $1.00, every single dollar matters. It is beautiful to envision our neighbors enjoying salads, sandwiches, and Sunday morning breakfasts together as we do. Your support truly is an act of kindness that reverberates throughout our communities across WNC and the Qualla Boundary. 

With heartfelt thanks and much hope for the future, 

—Claire Neal 

Every dollar counts. If you feel called to support our mission, donations can easily be made here:

Donate Here

Table for Three

And The Winner Is...

We can't thank you all enough for participating in this year's Table for Three. Because of you, we will be able to provide 206,400 meals!

And now the moment you all have been waiting for: Our grand prize winner of 52 gift certificates for a “meal for two” (a value of $3500+) from our list of incredible local Restaurant Partners.

The winner of the 2024 Table for Three is Kenneth Linker.

Once again, thank you to EVERYONE who bought a ticket or shared the raffle.


Thank You To Those Contributing To Our Mission in April:

We'd like to thank the following Foundations for their support of our food distribution efforts:

  • Perry N. Rudnick Fund

We'd like to thank the following Corporate Sponsors for their generous contributions:

  • Food Lion
  • Mast General Store
  • Riverbend Nursery

We'd like to thank the following Events and Campaigns for going above and beyond in their efforts:

  • Jersey Mike's - Thanks to local franchises and their Month of Giving, Jersey Mike's will be providing the equivalent of 200,000 meals for our neighbors! WOW!

We'd like to thank the following Local Food Donors for going above and beyond in their efforts:

  • Flavor 1st
  • Ingles Markets
  • Paul Collins

We'd like to thank the following Retail Food Donors for their collective efforts:

  • Aldi
  • Dollar General
  • Food Lion
  • Publix
  • Sam's Club
  • Trader Joes
  • Wal-Mart
  • Whole Foods

We'd like to thank Ingles Markets for their support through the Ingles Reclaim Center:

Thank you, Ingles Markets, for partnering with us in our efforts to end hunger in WNC!

Did You Know...

Capital Assets

MANNA can accept many non-cash assets for future estate and tax planning purposes. Capital assets are any type of property that is not cash and is held for personal use or investment. Per the Federal Reserve, only 11% of the Household Asset Distribution in the US is in the form of cash. This suggests a vast majority of Americans are in a position to give more non-cash assets to charities. 

MANNA FoodBank may be able to accept other types of non-cash capital assets, including but not limited to: fixed income i.e. bonds, real estate, commodities, vehicles and collectibles (note: there is a 28% capital gains taxes on collectibles).

To discuss or learn more about gifting non-cash assets, click here: https://plannedgiving.mannafoodbank.org/ or contact Director of Philanthropic Engagement, Chad Conaty at cconaty@mannafoodbank.org or via phone at 828-774-5910.

We Are Hiring!

Come join a team dedicated to ending hunger in WNC! We are currently hiring for a Community Markets Site Coordinator, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator, and a Volunteer Center Manager.

Please help spread the word to your network.



MANNA FoodBank and Ingles Markets have been filling plates together for more than 30 years. Ingles Markets, thank you for your steadfast partnership!

Feed Hope. Fight Hunger.

Thank you for supporting the work we do and for supporting neighbors in need. Together, we can end hunger in Western North Carolina.

Involve. Educate. Unite.

We stand firmly beside those united in seeking positive change, equity, and justice for all. 

Speak Up. Change Lives.

Our mission is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina and a critical part of this mission is advocating for those experiencing the effects of income insecurity and food insecurity.

That's where you come in.

We are a non-partisan nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing information about the issues affecting the people we serve, and we do not endorse political parties or candidates. We simply ask community members to work with our elected officials to make legislation that works for us all and makes our region, our state, and our country stronger from the ground up.

Click here if you'd like to receive advocacy-related emails from MANNA FoodBank, and receive information from us about ways you can use your voice and actions to help us end hunger in our region.


Give. Volunteer. Advocate.


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