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Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service, Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 700,000 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when... Read more

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photo wrapped Mac N Cheese

Help Us Help Clients: Healthy Food Wish List

photo wrapped Mac N CheeseHere at Manna, we serve thousands of families and MCPS elementary students per month with food donated by our community. Every can of tuna or box of macaroni and cheese is processed by our volunteer corps to ensure food safety, which means checking every expiration date on food that comes in. Many times, well-meaning groups pre-package food products for us to give to clients in decorated bags or wrapping paper.

photo of Mac N CheeseWhile the sentiment is appreciated (and we love decorated boxes as much as anyone) it means that our volunteers must disassemble every package in order to ensure food safety. The mountain of macaroni at right came pre-wrapped in lovingly decorated packages. We admired each one as we unwrapped it to check for the expiration date. All the work that went into wrapping these packages had to be undone in the name of safety. The mac & cheese donated will go a long way toward helping our Goldberg Smart Sacks program, but the time taken to unwrap each product could have been spent packaging the pallets for our businesses to pick up and sort.

So how can your group participate in Manna while taking into account our need to ensure safety and the nutritional value of the food donated? You can help us collect more food through community food drives and our Help the Hungry food drives. Hold one of your own, or give in April with the Montgomery County Muslim Foundation’s food drive at local Giant stores. Check out our Healthy Food Drive Wish List here to see what Manna needs most. Please send things along unwrapped; we’ll make sure the clients know just how much you support them through healthy food!

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Jenna Umbriac

About Jenna Umbriac

Jenna Umbriac is Manna’s dietitian.

Since 1983, Manna has been feeding Montgomery County’s food insecure residents. In our 30 years of service Manna has served nearly 3 million people, 668,527 households, and distributed 45 million pounds of food. As the designated food bank for Montgomery County we are the main resource people turn to when they find themselves in need of food assistance. Manna delivers emergency food assistance through its three main programs: Food for Families, Smart Sacks, and Agency Food Distribution.

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