Manna CEO Credits ‘All the Women Who Shaped Me’ on International Women’s Day

Jackie DeCarlo is proud that throughout her almost eight years as Manna’s CEO, “We never had to turn anyone away.” That is saying a lot, because during this past year, requests for food by county residents rose 40%. Prior to the pandemic, Manna served about 3,000 people a month. Now it is 4,000, she said. Manna also has increased its food for school children program.

Manna is a non-profit grassroots organization with a mission to “to end hunger through food distribution, education, and advocacy.”

During the pandemic “We definitely had to scale up” to be able to supply enough nutritious food while at the same time keeping employees and volunteers safe,” she said.

But rather than view that as a hurdle, DeCarlo called it “an opportunity to clarify our humanitarian mission.” Many people and organizations have stepped up this past year, she said. Manna currently works side-by-side with many faith-based groups, businesses and individuals.

While she is optimistic that the new federal stimulus plan should help struggling residents, currently her organization has not seen a drop-off in food requests, as it normally does following the Thanksgiving and holiday season. “It’s holding pretty steady,” she said.

Monday, during International Women’s Day, DeCarlo took time to reminisce about her grandmother who “really instilled in me a sense of  hospitality. No one was a stranger in her home.” DeCarlo thanked her and “all the women who shaped me.”

She is an active member of the community, serving as co-chair at Healthy Montgomery, secretary at NonProfit Montgomery, board member at Montgomery Women and member at Bethesda Friends Meeting.

DeCarlo has been active in humanitarian causes most of her life. Prior to joining Manna in September of 2013, she worked in Baltimore with Catholic Relief Services, where she did economic justice work.

DeCarlo spoke about her work on this April 2020 episode of Studio 501c3.

 

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Suzanne Pollak

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.

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