Volunteers are the HeartBeet of MANNA!  


Most mornings and afternoons are a busy time at MANNA. Volunteers gather to sort and pack the food donations that come through our doors. From bins of apples straight from the orchard to 2,000-pound totes of rice, volunteers ensure that there are always hands at the ready to pack the food for distribution to our 16 county region, including the Qualla Boundary. Volunteers also pitch in to help with special events and projects like Farmers Market Ambassadors, the National Letter Carriers Food Drive, and the Ingles Giving Tree.

Volunteer Impact: The Heart of MANNA’s Daily Work

In fiscal year 2020-2021, nearly 2,500 volunteers provided 54,500+ hours of support — the equivalent of 28 full time staff! Without the wonderful individuals and groups who donate their time, we could not do the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina.

Getting Started

STEP 1: Create a volunteer profile.

STEP 2: Watch our videos and read through the volunteer handbook at your convenience.

STEP 3: Register for our Virtual Volunteer OrientationOrientations are now required by everyone in order to volunteer at MANNA. They are being offered on a bi-weekly basis and will take approximately 30-45 minutes of your time. 

MANNA’s Volunteer Shifts

We offer warehouse shifts Monday-Friday, 9:00AM-12:00PM, M/W/F from 1-3:30PM, Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1-3PM and 4:15-5:30PM.

We do not allow walk-ins: Individual volunteers and groups must be on the schedule for each shift prior to their volunteer service.

COVID-19 Volunteer Information

Your health and safety and that of our entire volunteer/staff community remains our top priority. Therefore, all those volunteering for MANNA must be fully vaccinated, unless you have a religious or medical exemption. If you are not vaccinated, we thank you very much for your interest in helping us to get food to those who need it most, and kindly ask you to please check back in with us in the future. Please read through our current COVID-19 safety practices to decide if volunteering at MANNA feels like an acceptable level of risk for you at this time.

Holiday Season Volunteering

During the holiday season, our volunteer shifts usually fill up very quickly. If you are interested in volunteering during the holidays, please contact us as early as possible (at least 6-8 weeks in advance). Due to increased call and email volumes at this time, please allow for 4-5 business days to receive a reply.

Hunger does exist year-round, and we often have a greater need for volunteers during January and February. If you have flexibility in your volunteering schedule, please consider volunteering after the holidays.

Group Volunteering

Families, clubs, school groups, business groups, or other organizations of 5 or more volunteers can fill out a Group Request Form. If you are a non-business group of 5 or fewer, you can have each person sign up as an individual on available dates. Note: The largest group size we are able to accommodate is a group of 10, unless 2-3 months’ notice is given.

Community Service

If you are looking to complete court ordered or attorney suggested hours, please contact our Volunteer Assistant Coordinator at volunteering@mannafoodbank.org.

Under 18

Volunteers younger than 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult chaperone (aged 18 or older). Volunteers between the age of 16 and 18 may volunteer without an adult, but must present MANNA with a release signed by their guardian:  Release of Liability for a Minor

Questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions here!