The Hunger Problem

In our affluent community, hunger is an especially complex issue. Hunger is prevalent yet often goes unnoticed, and its prevalence remains steadily on the rise. Every day, Manna strives to end our county’s hunger problem. Collecting and distributing food is a mainstay of our work. However, shifting the atmosphere surrounding hunger also calls for advocacy and education, for participants and community leaders alike.

In our affluent community, hunger is an especially complex issue. Hunger is prevalent yet often goes unnoticed…

At Manna, we serve all residents who do not meet our county’s self-sufficiency standard, which is defined by the hourly wage needed to meet basic needs without additional assistance. For example, a single mother with one child in high school and another in elementary school would need to earn $27.24 an hour, while the local minimum wage is $8.40.

As hunger and food insecurity grows, so does the complexity of our work. Although designated the official food bank of the county, Manna cannot serve as a standalone force in the fight against hunger, and our strategy has reflects our spirit of collaboration.  We proactively share donors, volunteers and participants. We leverage our reputation to mobilize county-wide solutions. And we coordinate work to be systematically efficient.

Manna’s approach – and our results – are unrivaled within the hunger relief community. Manna values our reputation for being a thought leader, and we faithfully work to merit this standing. We press ourselves to innovate and will not stop until ending hunger becomes a reality, not a slogan.

At the Closing the Hunger Gap conference in 2015, Manna Food Center along with more than 500 food access organizations representing 41 different states and Canada, came together to call for a strategic shift from charity to justice in a collective approach to ending hunger.

Manna facilitated a workshop called “Closing the Hunger Gap with Local Food”  along with Craig Lapine, Cultivating Community; Kristen Miale, Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine; Cara Durr, Food Bank of Alaska and participated in the pre-conference visioning and strategy session “Working Together to Transform Emergency Food”.  Click here to read the full report from the conference.