MANNA FoodBank’s Executive Director, Cindy Threlkeld, publicly announced her retirement this week. Threlkeld’s five year tenure as MANNA’s Executive Director has been a period of record growth and development. Threlkeld will retire as Executive Director in late spring of 2016.
The economic challenges facing Western North Carolina have grown tremendously since the recession of 2008. MANNA has managed to increase food distribution by double digits every year for the last five years, reaching a new high of 15.5 million pounds distributed across 16 WNC counties in the last year. That is enough food to provide the equivalent of 35,388 meals every day of the year for our neighbors in need. In keeping with MANNA’s priority focus on providing healthy, nutritionally dense foods, 4.7 million pounds of the food distributed in the past year consisted of fresh produce.
Threlkeld’s retirement will coincide with the successful completion of MANNA’s Space to Erase Hunger capital campaign and facilities renovation, which will significantly expand the freezer and cooler capacity, and improve the efficiency of the operations. The goal is to increase the food bank’s capacity to procure, store and deliver even more fresh produce, refrigerated dairy products, and frozen meat, as well as other nutritionally dense foods necessary to support good health. This move toward healthier food is part of MANNA FoodBank’s strategic plan to address health issues caused by food insecurity, as well as to partner with other community organizations to stabilize the lives of those who struggle to make ends meet.
“I cannot imagine working with a more dedicated and talented group of staff, volunteers, partner agencies, and board members—people who truly care about those who struggle with hunger, and are passionate in their response,” Threlkeld stated. “I am confident MANNA will continue to thrive. I look forward to embracing the joy of living in WNC, while also finding new ways to contribute to the community as a volunteer.”