Notes from the CEO – Jackie DeCarlo
It’s going to be quite a summer for Manna Food Center! Last month I announced to you key milestones as Manna continues on a journey we refer to as “More than a Move.” Yes, we will be moving to temporary space during renovations of our 9311 Gaither Rd warehouse after the July 4th weekend. Yes, we will be moving staff to 12301 Old Columbia Pike at the corner of Tech Rd and Old Columbia Pike starting mid-July. But all this activity is more than just packing boxes and shifting locations. It is the culmination of a “place-based strategy” to improve, innovate, and invigorate our efforts to eliminate hunger.
In the midst of this transformation, Manna is making sure our services continue. We often say “hunger doesn’t take a break” and it certainly doesn’t during a move! Hunger has different dimensions in the summer. With students out of school and away from breakfast and lunch programs, families can feel the strain of providing more meals. Costs for camps and other activities pinch parents’ budgets. Even modest travel costs for three day weekends can chip away at disposable income. Through our Food for Families programs, at sites from Langley Park to Germantown, Manna is able to offer tasty, nutritious food to all who turn to us. Manny, our mobile kitchen and pop-up pantry, will be hitting the road double time to reach and teach.
Our motto this summer is “Be steady with the vision, be flexible with the details.” That’s because two construction projects happening while we serve 3,000 families a month is bound to be filled with headaches and hardships. However, if we all remember why we are in this process—to provide Food for All—we can keep the faith.
With your donations—of food, funds, and friendship—you make our work possible. Thank you for that generosity and for being with us on this journey. I continue to welcome your input or questions or suggestions.