COVID-19 Response and Updates
Review our most recent Impact Report for MANNA and our partner network’s food distribution activities.
People and their families across Western North Carolina are facing dire economic hardships – and this is on top of what was already a “perfect storm” of economic issues contributing to 1 in 6 people facing an empty plate, even before the pandemic. Now, with millions across the country unemployed, food insecurity is at an all-time high. North Carolina has been particularly hard hit, and in the Asheville-metro area in the heart of our 16-county service area that impact has been particularly hard.
At MANNA, this has thrown our busy daily work into the highest gear.
With the emergence of COVID-19 on a state, national, and global level, MANNA FoodBank staff is working with county and state government agencies, Feeding the Carolinas food bank members, the Feeding America food bank network, and many other private and public organizations to address the impact on Western North Carolina and the thousands of residents and families we serve. We are following all public safety recommendations from the CDC and North Carolina Department of Human Services at our warehouse facilities in Asheville, NC in order to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, partner agencies, the people we serve, and the general public.
We will continue to keep our website updated with important and relevant information as we work to address the most acute issues coming out of this situation.
If you are a MANNA Partner Agency, please refer here for more information on our operations, recommendations for food distribution, and other support resources.
Recent Mask Updates
Everyone entering must wear a face mask when entering MANNA.
MANNA FoodBank continues to keep on-site health and safety requirements of proper hand washing, social distancing, and daily sanitizing in place. We appreciate your support of these safety precautions, so we can continue to serve the WNC community with much-needed food.
WHERE TO GET HELP
Partner Agency Network
We continue to coordinate with our Partner Agency Network of food providers. These nonprofit partners hold free food distributions, meals, and other food-related support, and are located across 16 WNC counties. Please refer to this map to find partners across the region who are hosting regular food distributions.
MANNA Food Helpline
If you are looking for food resources, or if someone you know doesn’t have access to the internet, please call MANNA’s Food Helpline: 1-800-820-1109
The Food Helpline team will help connect you to: partner pantries in your area, school food support, and other community resources for families experiencing an emergency food crisis.
You can also send an email inquiry to getfood(at)mannafoodbank.org.
If you have questions about SNAP, the national food assistance program, you can fill out a form (completely private) and our Helpline team can help determine if you are eligible for this program. Follow the link in the Get Food button below.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We are working hard with our hundreds of partners to get food to people across WNC quickly and safely, and you can help. We have three main needs that support food security work in 16 western NC counties: financial donations, volunteers, and food donations.
If you are interested in helping respond to immediate needs, sign up for our Immediate Needs text alert by texting the keyword READY to 828-348-5883.
We are asking that if people want to help, to do the following:
The most impact you can have is to make a financial gift to MANNA. As many of our regular sources for food donations have been impacted with the pandemic, we are in need of funding to keep acquiring the food that is desperately needed in our community. MANNA is able to stretch a dollar much further than one can at the individual consumer level, because we can source food in bulk quantities (tens of thousands of pounds), we can work with second market food vendors to purchase product at reduced rates, and we can partner with our other food banks to work together on food sources and variety at a national level.
Please make a financial donation to MANNA’s general food distribution work. We are already purchasing additional food resources to provide through our partner agency network, including product for family food boxes.
Volunteers are the driving force behind the daily work at MANNA, helping to inspect, sort, pack, and deliver thousands of pounds of food every day. The hands of volunteers touch every part of MANNA’s operations, and are the net that supports the tens of thousands of families we serve across Western North Carolina every year. If you are interested in lending your time to this work, we gladly welcome you.
You MUST sign up for a shift. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who wants to help with volunteer support. As we are currently following strict health and safety protocols at our warehouses, as well as needing to plan for our daily operations, we need volunteer headcounts in advance. Due to the current circumstances, we will have to turn people away if you are not officially registered for a volunteer shift. So, please sign up! We promise we will put your willing hands to good use.
Groups: If you are a representative of a group interested in volunteering at MANNA, please complete the Group Request Form. We will receive a notification once you submit your request and one of our team members will get back to you with available dates and additional details.
The Volunteer Center door will remain locked until the start of the shift and is locked 5 minutes after the shift starts. Volunteers will enter the building in small groups to reduce crowding around the hand-washing area and the sign-in console. Please wait in your car or outside the building at a 6-foot distance from others until you are directed to enter the building. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must continue to wear a mask or face covering at all times, which must fit snugly – covering your nose and mouth, with no gaps around the sides of the face. Temperature checks, hand-washing, and sanitization protocols will continue for all. Additionally, going forward, if you are not feeling well or are experiencing symptoms of illness, please do not come to MANNA until you are feeling better. CDC recommendations are constantly evolving and we will do our part to best protect our MANNA community. Thank you all for taking an active role in keeping our friends safe.
DONATE FOOD AND SUPPLIES
Please make healthy shelf stable food donations. We recommend easy to make meals and healthy snacks, like dried nuts and fruit, etc.
We are also in need of sanitizing and cleaning supplies, specifically hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
All food and supply donations can be dropped off in MANNA’s Main Entrance/Volunteer Center parking lot, next to the ramp. There are currently two large donation bins: one is marked for food, the other for cleaning supplies.
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