Join the Movement.

September is Hunger Action Month

HAM_Logo_SpecsHunger Action Month is a nationwide initiative designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger and join the movement to help end hunger! Here at MANNA FoodBank, we are asking: What does it mean to take action on hunger? This month, we have a few ways you can take action to raise awareness about the serious impact hunger has on so many people in our community, and across the country.

Hunger Action Month Calendar: 30 Ways in 30 Days

Our Hunger Action Month calendar is a great way to see what opportunities are available to take action against hunger. There are big events happening across Western North Carolina in September that directly address the issue of hunger, like Ingles Day at the Mountain State Fair on September 13th, the Annual Hunger Walk in Henderson County on September 16th, and our Empty Bowls fundraiser on September 25th.

There are also smaller actions you can take throughout the month to address hunger on a personal level, such as taking the FNS (food stamp) challenge to eat on $4 for a day, eating at The Cantina in Biltmore Village and donating your side dishes as a donation to MANNA, use your smartphone to make a donation by texting ‘MANNA’ to 41444, or signing up to volunteer at MANNA or any of our 220 partner pantries across WNC. (You can find a list of our partner pantries on our Food Finder page.)

Click here to download MANNA’s Hunger Action Month calendar and see what actions you can take in September to help us eradicate hunger.

Community Collaboration: Asheville Hotels come together for Sweet Dreams, Full Plates campaign

The Asheville-area tourist industry is a mainstay of our regional economy, and MANNA has been the beneficiary of many local hotels’ efforts to make an impact in the WNC community.

This year, we are thrilled to announce a huge new initiative by our area hotels to help feed families across WNC. Sweet Dreams, Full Plates: Hospitality Feeding Families, is a month-long campaign happening during Hunger Action Month. This campaign encourages hotel guests to forgo stay-over room service, and in exchange the hotel makes a $2 donation to MANNA. For every hotel room that opts out of stay-over service, MANNA can provide the food for 7 meals – enough to feed a family. Check out the list of participating hotels, and make your hotel recommendations to visitors make a difference for families across WNC!

MANNA’s 2017 Hunger Action Month Events

Aug. 31: Hunger Action Month Kickoff Party at Hi-Wire Brewing

Help us kick off Hunger Action Month on August 31 by heading over to Hi-Wire Brewing’s downtown Asheville location (197 Hilliard Avenue) between 4PM and 11PM, and have a local brew to support MANNA! Hi-Wire Brewing is donating 15% of the day’s proceeds as part of the first Hops for Hunger campaign to support MANNA’s daily work to move food to thousands of families across Western North Carolina. Bring a friend or three, and enjoy responsibly knowing that your beer purchase is benefiting an excellent local cause!

Sept. 13: Ingles Day at the Mountain State Fair Food Drive

A favorite change-of-season event is back! Ingles Day at the Mountain State Fair is one of MANNA’s biggest food drives of the year. Bring five cans of Laura Lynn brand Ingles products as a donation to MANNA, and get into the Mountain State Fair for free! MANNA staff and volunteers are on hand at both gates to collect the food donations and give out gate entry tickets. It’s a great opportunity to involve the entire family, have a great time at the fair, and to take action against hunger!

Sept. 14: Hunger Action Day

Hunger Action Day is the day that millions of people across the nation stand together to raise awareness for hunger. Nationally, 1 in 7 people struggle with hunger, and 1 in 5 children don’t have regular access to food. In WNC, 1 in 6 people are faced with hunger; 1 in 4 children do not know where they will get their next meal.

Help us bring awareness to this issue by wearing orange. Orange is the color of hunger awareness, so sport your orange gear on September 14th, and tell people why. Learn a few of the local facts about hunger, and help MANNA spread awareness for this issue by sharing that with family, coworkers, friends, and neighbors. By simply understanding a little more about why families in WNC are struggling to keep food on the table, YOU are taking action, standing with millions across the country, united in the work to end hunger.

Sept. 20: Child Hunger in WNC: Lunch and Learn

Would you like to learn more about childhood hunger in Western North Carolina? For Hunger Action Month, MANNA is opening up our Lunch and Learn series to the public with a panel discussion about the state of child hunger in our region. This event is free, but seating is limited. Please RSVP to by Monday, Sept. 18. Bring a bagged lunch, and we will provide drinks, plates and utensils.

Sept. 23: Produce Pod Ribbon Cutting and Dedication

MANNA continues to explore new ways to move fresh food across the mountains, and the Produce Pod in Waynesville, NC, is one more step toward quicker, more efficient fresh food distribution. On Saturday, September 23, North Carolina’s First Lady, Kristen Cooper, will join MANNA staff and board of directors, the volunteers and staff at Haywood Christian Ministry, employees from Morgan Stanley, and other area dignitaries and leaders for a ribbon cutting to dedicate the Produce Pod. To our knowledge, this is the first Produce Pod of its kind in North Carolina. The refrigerated storage container that we call a “pod” is located in Waynesville, NC, and will serve MANNA partner agencies in Haywood and Jackson County. The location of the Produce Pod makes it easier for our partners in western counties to access fresh food more consistently. MANNA has already begun making regular produce deliveries to the pod.

Sept. 25: 16th Annual Empty Bowls Lunch and Dinner

This year celebrates the 16th year of MANNA FoodBank’s Empty Bowls fundraisers. Attendees choose a bowl hand-made by local artisans and enjoy a meal of soup, bread, and dessert. The bowl they take home reminds them of all the empty bowls in the world.


Everything for this annual sell-out event is donated: the soup, the event space, the desserts, and over 1,000 hand-made ceramic 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 the Collector’s Corner at Empty Bowls, where special works of high-end craft and art are available for purchase. Collector’s Corner items are selected by the artists, and are gallery-quality pieces. All proceeds collected from the sale of Collector’s Corner items support MANNA’s mission to provide food to families struggling with an empty bowl throughout MANNA’s 16-county service area.

Sept. 27: Hunger Action Month Wrap Party at Highland Brewing

Join us for a community night at our neighborhood brewery, Highland Brewing, for a Hunger Action Month wrap up celebration. Highland is generously donating $1 to MANNA for every beer sold in the taproom that day, so bring some friends and have a pint for a good cause. Every beer purchase will enable MANNA to provide the food for 3.5 meals!