City nonprofit sets records in the fight against hunger during pandemic
CNN — Each morning, MANNA FoodBank calls a flurry of activity “organized chaos.” The frenzy peaks to the record-breaking need during the pandemic.
“We have so much food right now our building is bursting at the seams,” says Tim Williams, MANNA’s receiving and inventory manager. “And seeing that really brings to perspective the need that we’re trying to meet.”
For months, the staff has shouldered the surging load with a sense of urgency. Last week’s records were staggering. MANNA delivered 615 thousand pounds of food, including 150 thousand pounds of produce.
“Last week our team picked an incredible 103 thousand pounds of food in a single day, which trumps our previous record by 20 thousand pounds,” Williams said.
“It’s just been record weeks across the board for us here,” says distribution manager Kevin Davis.
Their teamwork makes the dream work in the face of what’s been an economic nightmare for so many families, making them News 13’s Persons of the Week. Those workers include everyone form the order pick team that gathers food in the warehouse ordered by partner agencies, to the drivers that deliver all over western North Carolina.
“We’re working extremely hard, streamlining our processes to be able to get more food out to those in need in western North Carolina,” Davis tells News 13.
Some of MANNA’s partner agencies have seen an increase in demand of as much as 300%. Leah Cormier is a liaison for those agencies in Buncombe County.
“It’s really inspiring to see them come together,” Cormier says. “I think we’ve always had an incredible team, but to see the dedication, there’s been no wavering there, I mean people have stepped up and it’s been really incredible.”
They continue to step up to the food insecurity issues that aren’t going away anytime soon.”The fight that we’re in is not over. We know that this is really just the beginning.”
Visit mannafoodbank.org/covid-19 for more information on how to help with MANNA FoodBank.
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