The State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation’s three-year grant supporting food purchase across North Carolina is seeing the results from the first year, and the reports are promising. In WNC alone, the first-year portion of the grant purchased over 420,000 pounds of fresh produce to support residents across MANNA FoodBank’s 16-county service area.
In Jackson County, this grant has provided 35,907 pounds of fresh apples, carrots, onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes – foods that are desperately needed in WNC for their nutritional content.
“It’s better than Christmas,” says Millie Randolph, a volunteer at Heritage Adult Day Retreat in Yancey County. “One family [we serve] has six kids in their care – the young mother took in her five nephews – and they are so thankful for the produce. It’s feeding their family.”
The three-year, $1.2 million SECU Foundation grant is in partnership with the North Carolina States Association of Feeding America Food Banks, and is set to provide 6 million additional meals to North Carolinians seeking emergency food assistance through 2018. The grant supports food purchase at the six North Carolina-based Feeding America food banks. In 2015/2016, MANNA FoodBank utilized these funds to procure fresh produce, which, according to MANNA’s internal partner survey from 2015, is the most sought-after food category in our 16-county WNC service area.
“The SECU Foundation Grant makes a tangible impact to people facing spending tradeoffs in poverty,” says Hannah Randall, CEO for MANNA FoodBank. “Nutritious produce allows people to eat healthy food that they could not otherwise afford, leading to better health outcomes and reduced long term medical costs for the people of North Carolina.”