Community Foundation Grant allows for increased food distribution

Posted 01/28/14

MANNA FoodBank receives $50,000 Grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. This will enable MANNA to continue increasing food distribution across our 16-county service area.

In 2013 MANNA FoodBank distributed a record 12.8 million pounds of food to 211 pantries, emergency food suppliers, and meal programs across Western North Carolina. It’s enough food to provide over 29,000 meals every day.

The ability of MANNA to distribute over one million pounds of food a month across 6,000 square miles in 16 counties requires generous donors, strong logistics, and a robust network of food partner agencies. These agencies, which include pantries and meal programs, collaborate with MANNA to provide direct food assistance to Western North Carolina residents facing hunger.

MANNA FoodBank received $50,000 from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to strengthen this food distribution network. Increased need for food assistance in recent years has been a challenge for these programs, many of which are small volunteer organizations that struggle with adequate staffing and resources.

Support for MANNA means that more families across the region will receive the food assistance they need. The $50,000 grant was co-funded by CFWNC with $20,000 coming from a fund established by Chuck and Nancy Cole,” said CFWNC President Elizabeth Brazas. “The Coles opened funds at the Foundation during the 1980s to facilitate their philanthropy. CFWNC helped them meet their charitable goals during their lifetimes, and we are pleased to work with their advisor to carry on the Coles’ tradition of giving. The advisor chose to honor their lives and generosity by supporting this grant.”

This is one of nine Food and Farming awards granted by the CFWNC. The goals of the funding focus area are to support the local food movement while preserving the region’s traditional farm heritage and to address hunger and food insecurity in Western North Carolina.

Strong local organizations are essential in order for MANNA to carry out its mission: to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. The Network Capacity Improvement Project will help these local organizations in the following key areas: collaboration with MANNA and community resources to share food banking and food pantry best practices; succession planning and leadership development; and volunteer training and management.

The goal is the creation of a network of strong, highly-functional food agencies that can work together to develop a community-based approach to addressing food insecurity in our region. Progress will be measured by MANNA and the partner agencies ability to increase the volume and the quantity of food delivered.

“The people of Western North Carolina have a well-deserved reputation for taking care of their own,” said MANNA FoodBank Executive Director, Cindy Threlkeld. “For us to make strides in the work to end hunger, it is essential to support and empower our partners in the communities across our 16 county service area. This generous grant from CFWNC is an important step in realizing our ultimate goal of a hunger-free WNC.”

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