September is Hunger Action Month.
More than 100,000 people experience hunger in Western North Carolina every year.
Every September, MANNA FoodBank, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in America. Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.
The Problem of Hunger: In the 16 Western North Carolina counties MANNA serves, more than 100,000 people struggle with hunger and do not know where they’ll find their next meal.
MANNA works daily to address the issue of hunger in WNC by rescuing food and distributing it to residents across WNC through a 220-member partner network that includes pantries, shelters, kitchens, and other food assistance programs. In 2018/2019, MANNA distributed a record 19.8 million pounds of food, which is the equivalent of 16.5 million meals.
September marks the time of year the Feeding America network of food banks organize around this annual call to action. The Hunger Action Month 2019 campaign asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.
“Food is the foundation for everything we do in life; without it we can’t be our best, most productive selves,” said Hannah Randall, CEO of MANNA FoodBank. “Our partner pantries have seen a distinct increase in the number of working families turning to us for support over the last few years, and we are working harder than ever to simply meet the existing need for food. Children in WNC are especially vulnerable; 1 in 4 children in our region do not know where their next meal will come from, and that is a staggering reality that we simply refuse to tolerate.”
Hunger Action Day®, the second Thursday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact.
This year, on September 12th, MANNA FoodBank asks supporters to wear orange—the color of hunger awareness—and to educate themselves and their communities about the growing need for food here in Western North Carolina.
In WNC, MANNA FoodBank has many activities planned to engage the community in hunger relief and awareness building. There are events to attend, food drives to contribute to, campaigns to support, food to enjoy, and beers to be had, all in the name of filling as many plates as possible across the 16 counties MANNA serves with food support.
You can download our Hunger Action Month calendar for 2019, which details all of the incredible action taking place during the month, including these fantastic highlights:
Sept. 1-30: Sweet Dreams, Full Plates: Hospitality Feeding Families
Hospitality staff from over 45 local hotels will compete all month long to provide food to WNC by asking guests to forgo a service, and in exchange the hotel will make a donation to MANNA on their behalf. For every dollar raised, MANNA can provide 3.5 meals.
Last year, this campaign raised enough money to provide for more than 100,000 meals. To date, the hospitality community has helped provide over 280,000 meals since Sweet Dreams, Full Plates launched in 2017!
You can help out with this campaign, even if you’re not a hotel guest! Thanks to our partners at Asheville Print Shop, you can purchase a Sweet Dreams, Full Plates t-shirt that will help provide for more than 50 meals with each purchase!
Visit sweetdreamsfullplates.org for more information, to buy a t-shirt, and to track the weekly competition!
Sept. 5: Farm to Village Dinner to benefit MANNA FoodBank
Biltmore Village restaurants are coming together for an incredible, food-lover’s dream dinner, complete with wine and beer-paired courses, right in the middle of Boston Way in the heart of Biltmore Village!
Tickets available via Rezaz’s event on their Facebook page!
Sept. 9 Asheville Movie Guys screening: Some Like It Hot
Join us at the Fine Arts Theatre for a special Asheville Movie Guys screening! The fun starts at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 9, featuring a special 60th anniversary screening of “Some Like It Hot” in honor or Movie Guy Bruce Steele‘s 60th birthday. The evening also doubles as a benefit for MANNA FoodBank and complimentary birthday cake will be served. Everyone is welcome to join us for the movie and discussion. The evening includes a brief introduction by the Asheville Movie Guys, Bruce Steele and Edwin Arnaudin of AshevilleMovies.com, as well as a lively discussion with the audience after the credits. (Photo courtesy of The Criterion Collection)
Read more on the Asheville Movie Guys’ Facebook page!
Sept. 11: Ingles Day at the Mountain State Fair
Get your cans ready for our favorite food drive of the year! You can help raise thousands of pounds of food for our neighbors facing hunger, and get free entry to the Mountain State Fair on Wednesday, September 11, thanks to our hometown grocery partner, Ingles Markets! It’s easy: Bring 5 cans of Laura Lynn products to donate to MANNA at the fair gates in exchange for free admission! (Educational opportunity alert! This is a great way to introduce kids to the idea of philanthropy, and how lending a hand to support your community can be a simple action, like donating to the food bank.)
Sept. 12: Hunger Action Day!
- Wear orange to raise awareness for hunger in WNC.
- Make a donation to MANNA: Every $1 donated helps provide enough food for 3.5 meals for the more than 100,000 people facing hunger in WNC.
- Sign up for MANNA’s Advocacy Action Alert email list, where we send out information about how to use your voice to advocate for the issues facing so many people here in WNC. Sign up here!
Sept. 12-15: CHOW CHOW Asheville Food Festival
Join us for Chow Chow’s first year of celebrating both the vibrancy of Asheville, NC’s culinary scene as well as the many diverse hands that come together to create the colorful flavors of this corner of Southern Appalachia. A non-profit 501C3 organization, Chow Chow is also partnering with MANNA FoodBank to rescue food from the event, so nothing is wasted and people are fed. Don’t miss the amazing array of food-centric events, particularly Pickled In the Park Grand Tasting, happening Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!
Tickets available at CHOW CHOW’s website!
Sept. 18: Community Pint Night at Highland Brewing
Visit Highland Brewing Company on Wednesday, September 18, where Highland is generously donating $1 for every beer sold in the tasting room to help fill plates across WNC! Every $1 helps provide 3.5 meals for more than 100,000 people facing hunger in our region.
Our thanks to Highland Brewing, who is an annual sponsor this year, and a long-time supporter of anti-hunger work here in WNC. We salute you!
Sept. 20: PINCHED: A Simulated Activity In Understanding Poverty
MANNA will facilitate a PINCHED Simulation for the current Leadership Asheville class as part of their curriculum. Media is invited to attend and observe.
Sept. 23: 18th Annual Empty Bowls Lunch and Dinner
Help end hunger in WNC by attending Empty Bowls lunch or dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Biltmore Village. Every ticket sold will help MANNA provide enough food for 140 meals for WNC families currently facing empty tables.
Artists from our incredible local potters community come together to donate over 1,000 stunning handmade bowls to support this event. Every attendee can select a bowl to take home, and is a reminder of the bowls that you have helped to fill simply by attending a wonderful event!
Enjoy live music, a fabulous selection of food from our talented culinary sponsors, and shop our Collector’s Corner market, where you can get a head start on your holiday shopping. Every single dollar raised from this event goes directly to support food for our neighbors facing hunger across WNC.
We offer two opportunities to enjoy Empty Bowls on Monday, September 23: Lunch is from 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., and dinner is from 5 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.
Kids tickets are available at dinner!
Tickets sell out fast, so get the NOW at events.mannafoodbank.org.
Sept. 26: Carolina Public Press Burnsville Hunger Resource Fair & News Forum
The Newsmakers Forum will feature five panelists working in the community around the issue of hunger. We’ll discuss solutions already being used to address the problem in the community, as well as current challenges and how they may be addressed. We’ll also take a look at what the staff at Carolina Public Press uncovered in their year-long series, Faces of Hunger.
The Resource Fair will offer a collection of resources for people in the community facing food insecurity. The MANNA Mobile Food Pantry will be there, as well as their nutrition staff to educate people on ways to create healthy meals with food often provided by food banks. Local food banks will also be present to talk about what they offer and how people can receive help.
Newsmakers Forum: 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. | Hunger Resource Fair: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sept. 30: Poor People’s Campaign Town Hall
Land of the Sky United Church of Christ, 7 p.m. More to come, so save the date!
About MANNA FoodBank
MANNA FoodBank is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Western North Carolina since 1983. As an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, the mission of MANNA FoodBank is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA serves over 200 community-based non-profit food assistance agencies in 16 Western North Carolina counties and distributed 19.8 million pounds of food in 2018/2019. For more information, visit MANNAFoodbank.org, or call 828-299-FOOD.
About Feeding America®
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the Unites States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.