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MANNA FoodBank Community Market to be held at the Old Rock School Gymnasium in Newland on Thursday, April 6th

By Tim Gardner

The MANNA FoodBank will host another Community Market on Thursday, April 6th at the Old Rock School Gymnasium in Newland.  The gymnasium is located at 185 Shady Street and is adjacent to Newland Elementary School.

Anyone or any family struggling financially to afford groceries is not only welcome, but encouraged to go there then to receive free grocery staples, fresh produce and perishable items from the MANNA FoodBank. The Community Market will open at 11:30 a.m. and will remain so until its food items run out.

The date for the Community Market in April was changed to the first Thursday of the month (it’s normally held the second Thursday of each month) because of the Easter Break holidays in the county’s public schools being observed the second week of April.

The Community Market will have touch free, drive through pick up service.

For further details, contact Woodie by phone at (828) 733-6006 or by email at tammywoodie@averyschools.net.  More information about the Community Market can also be obtained by calling Avery County Parks and Recreation Director Robbie Willis at (828) 733-8266 (or visiting him in his office, which is located in the Old Rock School Gymnasium) or Dick Larson of Feeding Avery Families at (828) 260-5389.

“Our MANNA FoodBank Community Markets have been held in Avery County for several years and dozens of people, sometimes very high in number, have gone home with loaded food boxes,” Woodie said. “Robbie, Dick and myself encourage everyone who needs food to come to any, or all, of the Community Markets we host. It blesses our hearts to help those in need of food.  I ask all who read this article to please tell others about our Community Markets and post on your social media and/or web page to help get the word out.”   

The Community Market is also in need of volunteers to help with the packaging of food items and their distribution to recipients.  Those interested in volunteering for this most needy cause should contact Woodie for further information.

“I deeply appreciate everyone who helps, or has helped, with the Community Markets in any capacity,” Woodie added. “Our staff can always use volunteers to help us. And everyone who helps will receive a tremendous blessing from doing so as one of our greatest spiritual callings is to help others in need.”

MANNA FoodBank, headquartered in Asheville, NC, is a private, not-for-profit service organization working to end food insecurity in the 16 counties of Western North Carolina, including Avery County and the Qualla Boundary (territory in Cherokee for the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians). MANNA links the food industry to more than 200 partner pantries and other human service organizations to get food to thousands of families’ tables through compassion and dignity.

MANNA is an acronym, and stands for Mountain Area Nutritional Needs Alliance.  It is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. To learn more about MANNA FoodBank, log online to its web site: MANNAFoodBank.org or phone MANNA’S Food Help Line at 1-800-820-1109.