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Be a Sweetheart in Western NC on February 11 and 12

 
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On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

be_a_sweetheart_5547.jpgMANNA Foodbank is our food partner in Waynesville, Hendersonville, and Asheville, N.C. In 2016, MANNA distributed a record amount of food to people across Western North Carolina.  They distributed 16.4 million pounds of food across 16 counties, which provided for over 13.6 million meals.

MANNA knows how to stretch a dollar and became even more efficient in operations and food sourcing during the past year. This means that MANNA can now provide 3.5 meals for every dollar donated. 

When a family’s food budget is limited, making healthy food purchases is ever more challenging. In 2016, MANNA completed the first full year of the MANNA Express fresh food delivery program. MANNA Express utilizes volunteer drivers to deliver perishable foods to a partner pantry on the day they distribute food to their community, making healthy food more accessible to the people who need it most. Thanks to the dedicated volunteers working on this program, MANNA Express provided over 340,000 pounds of fresh foods like fruit and vegetables, dairy products, proteins, and other perishable foods.

In addition to Mast Store’s donation, change collection jars will be positioned at each register. Even a few coins can have life changing effects. Our partners’ ability to stretch any donation is proof positive that a little can do A LOT! This year’s Be a Sweetheart event is coming up on Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12.

Click HERE to find out more about how you can get involved with the worthwhile efforts of MANNA FoodBank.