A Gift of Candy Can Change a Life

The Mast General Stores in Asheville, Waynesville, and Hendersonville are partnering with MANNA FoodBank this Feb. 10-11 to restock their food pantry.

The annual Be a Sweetheart, Feed the Hungry campaign matches each pound of candy purchased at Mast Store with a $1 donation, which will provide three and a half meals for someone in our community who is hungry.

Selecting a traditional gift of candy from the Mast Store this Valentine’s Day will give back to our community in heartwarming ways. Here’s what that thoughtful gift might do:

  • Fill a backpack with kid-friendly food for the weekend
  • Stock MANNA Express with fresh produce & bread
  • Provide foods to encourage – over 68 percent of the food distributed in 2016 is recognized by Feeding America as foods that focus on good health, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.

For each pound of bulk candy purchased, Mast Store donates $1. Through partnerships and community contributions, MANNA is able to stretch $1 into 3.5 meals.

Guests can make a difference without a candy purchase. Change collection jars are at each register, so donating the change from your transaction can make a big impact on someone’s life.

Hunger does not discriminate and is not just an issue within the homeless community. In the 16 counties served by MANNA FoodBank, 16.4 million pounds of food was distributed in 2016 with the help of 222 food distribution partners.

Over 75 percent of the households helped by MANNA have children, seniors, or a disabled person as a part of their family. The average time a resident utilizes food and nutrition services is 8-10 months. There are many reasons an individual or a family turns to food security organizations for help – loss of a job, unexpected medical expenses, taking care of extended family members, etc. MANNA’s goal is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina.

Like many non-profit organizations, MANNA FoodBank relies on volunteers and donations for much of its success. There are opportunities to get involved on a personal or group level. Learn how to fight hunger in your community. Stop by the information table during the event or click over to the MANNA website at www.MANNAFoodBank.org.

About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more than six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.