Mast General Store, Merrell Footwear, and MANNA FoodBank are partnering to provide children in Western North Carolina with weekend food, and you can help. For each pair of Merrell shoes purchased at Mast Store October 14th through 31st, Merrell will fill a pack with food to feed a child for a weekend.
The MANNA FoodBank plays a vital role in our community by involving, educating, and uniting people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. MANNA is a private, not-for-profit service organization, founded in 1982, that links the food industry with 131 partner agencies in 15 counties of Western North Carolina. An average of 3,800 school children were served each week throughout 2012.
The MANNA Packs for Kids Program is an invaluable resource that reaches out to at-risk elementary school children in need of food over the weekend. To help these families, MANNA provides children a large bag (usually 5 pounds) of supplemental food items, fresh fruits and vegetables, and personal care items each Friday that schools are in session.
Shirley Humphrey, a School Counselor at Emma Elementary School in Buncombe County, said, “Many of my students have told me that the food they get from the MANNA Packs Program on Fridays was what they had to eat for the weekend. I have seen an increase in student optimism because of this program. The parents truly appreciate the help and the families really do use the food. This program has also increased awareness among our faculty and staff about the issues of poverty and hunger.”
This is the third year Mast General Store has partnered with Merrell to support Food For Kids. The combined efforts of this partnership provided over 2,422 backpacks of weekend food in 2011, but the need is still there. To find out more about how you can help fight hunger in Western North Carolina, please visit mannafoodbank.org.