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A Perfect Storm of Vulnerability

January 16, 2019

Notes for the CEO – Jackie DeCarlo

We are experiencing a perfect storm (pun intended!) of vulnerability.  Montgomery County is cleaning up after a major snowstorm which created the usual complications for those needing shelter, clothing, and food. Many Federal workers also received no pay on Friday, and that evening hundreds turned up at a community supper that Manna Food Center was proud to support. As the weekend and weather played out, kids who receive meals at school went without on a snow day, and neighbors who rely on Federal contracts or related business have had their livelihoods disrupted. One family who turned to Manna for the first time last week told their story to NBC4.

Furloughed worker, Martin Conterez, and his family reached out to Manna for food assistance. (Video: NBC4)

Manna Food Center is waiving our income eligibility requirements for those who are impacted by the shutdown.  Because we recognize that the ripple effects are reaching into the community, we are not requiring Federal IDs to receive food.  If you are a resident of Montgomery County, it is our honor to offer you good food in a welcoming space. Because we know that food is just one element of concern, our staff are sharing information about how peer organizations and public agencies are stepping up with other resources.

The response to both the snow and the shutdown once again reveals what a special community Montgomery County is. One donor went online to give to Manna and shared that her gift was “For those who are furloughed. …[I am] happy to be able to help.” If you are in a position to donate, please consider an online gift that will help Manna purchase healthy food.

We are also putting plans into place should the shutdown drag on, leaving more people vulnerable, especially as SNAP/Food Stamps benefits run out. Please mark your calendars for January 19-20, 2019, when we will be holding our annual Food Drive in honor of Dr. King.   During these uncertain times, it is essential for Manna to keep our shelves stocked and services strong. You can volunteer with us that weekend.

A government worker let us know, “This place is great. [You] gave me so much food. I am … on furlough status and not receiving a paycheck. This was such a great help. Thank you Manna!”

Thank you, for making sure Manna is ready whenever we are needed,

Jackie