Notes from the Executive Director:
Free Packaged Meals Available for Hunger Relief Organizations 
County Executive Ike at MLK
CE Ike Leggett with volunteers at MLK Day of Service
At one time in my career, I was an AmeriCorps director and was motivated by the agency's notion that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday should be considered "A Day On, Not a Day Off."  Since coming to Manna, I've been impressed by how the Montgomery County community comes together on the 3rd Monday of January for a Day of Service. 

This past MLK Holiday was particularly special and other food agencies like ours will benefit from the community's generosity.  We hosted our annual MLK Food Drive at 27 Giant stores across the County.  We owe a huge thank you to the hundreds of food drive volunteers, Giant staff, and store patrons, who made the collection of 29,647 pounds of food possible.   

But the service didn't end with the food drive!  We also participated in the service event led by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center, on MLK Day to make 100,000 meals.  I was fortunate, along with dozens of other nonprofit representatives, to gather with 2,700 volunteers at the Bethesda Marriott Conference Center.   The volunteers assembled meal packets that consisted of rice, beans and other savory ingredients.   In an initiative with the anti-hunger group, Outreach, and thanks to the support of Fund for Montgomery, the Marriott was a hub of activity as citizens and elected officials gathered to help make Montgomery County hunger free. Click here to see highlights of the event.

MLK food project Manna now has more than 16,000 food packets to share with the community.  Manna will, of course, include the packets as part of our regular monthly boxes during the winter months.   As the Center of ending hunger in our County, we will also be sharing these packets with soup kitchens, shelters, pantries and other food programs.  Please let us know if your agency or place of worship would like to benefit from the Dr. King service day success.  Reach me directly:

If the spirit of service over MLK weekend is any indication, it is going to be a great 2016!

Jackie DeCarlo
Executive Director

Join us on February 4 to learn about critical changes to SNAP/Food Stamp eligibility in Montgomery County.
Heroes Against Hunger Award Reception
Save the Date!
Heroes Against Hunger Logo

Mark your calendars for Manna Food Center's 
2nd Annual Heroes Against Hunger Awards Reception.  
Help us celebrate the amazing work our partners have contributed to help end hunger and feed hope in
Montgomery County.  

2016 Hero Honorees Include:

Shondra Jenkins 
Executive Director, Sodexo Foundation & Director, Community Relations, Sodexo

Corporate Partner
Giant Food

Reception and Silent Auction
Thursday, April 7th
5:30 - 8:00 PM
TBD location in Rockville, MD
Reception includes hors d' oeuvres and a selection of beer and wine.

SNAPCritical Changes to SNAP Benefits
The rules for the Food Supplement Program (FSP/SNAP, formerly food stamps) changed on January 1 of this year.  Now, according to federal law, "able-bodied adults without dependents" or ABAWDs can only receive SNAP benefits for 3 months in a 3 year period unless they are exempt or are participating in an approved work activity. This change may impact over 1,500 Montgomery County residents, causing many to lose their benefits starting in April 2016.
To better understand who might be affected and how these changes will impact County residents, Manna Food Center is hosting an information session on Thursday, February 4 from 2:00 pm-3:30 pm at the Casey Health Institute in Gaithersburg.  Staff from Maryland Hunger Solutions will discuss the new time limit and ways that social service providers can effectively support individuals impacted by this rule.
Please share this e-mail and/or this flyer with colleagues. The session is public, but space is limited so please RSVP here .
Join Manna Food Center in ensuring that our County residents who rely on SNAP are well-informed and supported.
$60,000 Mini-Grants Program Is Back!
Community Food Rescue logo
The Community Food Rescue Mini-Grants Program is back, with support from Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, the Mead Family Foundation, and Burness!  There are opportunities to receive grants for improving capacity and infrastructure of the local food recovery system, as well as for inventive and collaborative approaches in food recovery. The Mini-Grants process will be managed, again this year, by Intentional Philanthropy and Manna Food Center, with the generous support of the Mead Family Foundation. 

Click here to find out more about the funding criteria, eligibility requirements, and grant conditions.  Applications can be requested from

Grant deadline: Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Volunteer as a Resource Navigator
maryland hunger solutions
Since 2012, Maryland Hunger Solutions has partnered with the Montgomery County Community Action Agency's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to help Montgomery County residents access the Food Supplement Program (FSP, formerly known as food stamps) and learn about other food resources.  The goal of this partnership is to connect VITA customers with food resources as many low-to-moderate income families are not aware of their eligibility for such programs.  

Volunteer Resource Navigators help to increase the economic and food security of community members served by VITA.  Volunteers will:
  • Provide information on FSP to potentially eligible community members.
  • Pre-screen community members for food insecurity to determine if
    they may be eligible for FSP benefits.
  • Refer community members to Maryland Hunger Solutions for FSP
    screening and application assistance, to their DHHS office, and to
    other food programs.
  • Direct community members to other services as needed.
Join VITA for a Volunteer Resource Navigator training session and learn how you can provide families with the information they need to put groceries on the table.  Click here for more on this program.

Training Session: Friday February 5 from 6-8 p.m.
Gaithersburg: Family Services Inc., 620 East Diamond Ave.
Manna Blog
01-28-2016 11:51:03 AM canned goods
Lindsey here. After being snowed in at home for four straight days, making meals from every canned bean and frozen vegetable I could combine, I got to the grocery store yesterday. Even after the winter storm has settled, some grocery shelves are still emptier than usual.   Having a stocked kitchen cupboard is not only your key to snowed-in sanity, but also a time and money-saver. When money is tight at the end of the week or the end of the month, stocked ingredients can turn your pantry items into a substantial, appetizing meal.
Read more to learn what you should keep stocked in your pantry ...
Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities
Distro Vol Feb 2015
Food Distribution
Volunteers help, Mon-Fri from 9am-3pm, pack and sort food, bag produce and meat, assist clients to their car, and take in food donations. 
Must be 17 years of age of older.  This opportunity is approved for SSL hours.
referral office
Client Services Representative
Help log referrals by phone, fax, and email in to our database.  Volunteers must be able to make a commitment for a minimum of 6 months.

Shifts Currently Available:

Thursdays, 4-7pm    

(weekly commitment)


 2nd Saturday of the Month, 10am-2pm
(monthly commitment)

English/Spanish bi-lingual skills are a plus; however not required.  Email Marie at 
for more information.
Food Runner
Join Community Food Rescue (CFR), Montgomery County's network for food recovery. Help deliver rescued food to area shelters.
Click here to learn how you can help feed more and waste less.
Community Food Rescue News
Farmer Courtney - CFR
From The Earth Foods's Farmer Courtney donates 50 lbs. of fresh cabbage and peppers.
12-23-2015 18:47:29 PM
From the Earth Foods LLC,  a farm in Montgomery County, is the first CFR food business to become certified by Food Recovery Certified. Farmer Courtney Buchholtz will proudly display the eye-catching sticker that lets her customers know about the fantastic work she's doing to fight food waste and feed people. Courtney never knew about the Western Upper Montgomery County (WUMCO) Help, a food assistance organization just down the road from her in Poolesville, until they met through Community Food Rescue's matching web tool.... 

Continue reading →...

Manna joined forces with Partners to brace for the Blizzard of 2016
Jackie at Shepherd's Table
Manna's Executive Director, Jackie DeCarlo, right, dropping dessert off for clients at Shepherd's Table
People around the region scrambled to prepare for the Blizzard of 2016 last week.  With the uncertainty of the impending snow storm, Manna had to work fast to implement changes to its food distribution program.  Distribution times at the main warehouse and the satellite site at Colesville Presbyterian Church were changed to an earlier time to ensure clients were able to access food prior to the storm.  On the Thursday before the storm, staff and volunteers called all scheduled clients to notify them of the time change. In addition, volunteers came in early on Friday to help get distribution started sooner.  As it became clear that Manna would not be able to reopen its doors Monday or Tuesday after the storm, staff spent hours calling scheduled clients to keep them updated.

Manna wasn't the only organization preparing for the storm.  Many shelters were preparing for an influx of clients over the weekend as well.  Manna delivered food and water to Shepherd's Table and Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless whose doors remained open during the storm.

With the help of staff and the amazing support from volunteers, Manna was still able to serve clients on the Friday of the storm and continued to work diligently in rescheduling clients afterwards.

A special thank you to everyone who helped keep Manna running smoothly throughout the storm. 
Winter Weather at Manna
winter sceneSnow days bring a sense of wonder and excitement, as well as commuting and logistical challenges.    

As a reminder, Manna follows Montgomery County Government (not the schools) regarding closures and delays.  Manna posts announcements on our Facebook and Twitter sites and website. You can also call 301.424.1130 for recorded updates.  
Thank you and have a safe winter.
Second Saturday Food Distribution       
Second Saturday distribution at Manna's Gaithersburg warehouse takes place from 11:30am - 1:30pm on the 2nd Saturday of each month.  Next opportunity is February 13th.

To receive food, clients must have a referral in by the preceding Friday at 3pm to pick up food on the 2nd Saturday. Visit the Manna website for upcoming dates and additional information.
Call 301-424-1130 or email  
A Heartfelt Thank You to Our Donors
We extend a warm and sincere THANK YOU to all of the organizations and businesses that have donated food and funds between December 16, 2015 and January 15, 2016. Without your incredible generosity, we would not be able to feed the families in need in our community. If we accidentally missed your business or organization in our list, please email Therese Lampe and we will make the correction in our next list.  We wish we could list each of the individuals who also contribute to Manna, but the list would be endless. Thank you again for your support!

3E Technologies International
Academy of Fine Arts
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist
American Society for
    Biochemistry and
    Molecular Biology
Asbury Communities
Bargain Movers
Bethesda Co-Op
Bethesda Park Condominiums
Burness Communications
Calvary Evangelical Lutheran
Canon US Life Sciences
Capital Area Food Bank
Carl M. Freeman Companies
Casaplex, LLC
CBH Health
Central Union Mission
Charles Products, Inc.
Chazin & Company
Cherry Bekaert LLP
Chevy Chase Village
Chinese Culture and
    Community Service
    Center, Inc.
Chocolates and Tomatoes
Christ the Servant Lutheran
Church of the Redeemer
Church World Service, Inc.
City of Gaithersburg
City of Rockville
Clinton AME Zion Church
Colesville Presbyterian
CRB Consulting Engineers
DC Metro Sai Samsthan
Deborah Bloch
Diamond Mind, Inc.
Evergreen Montessori School
Fields Road Elementary
First Baptist Church of
Foster Medical Care
Friendship Heights Village
Gables at Waters Landing
Gensler's Lifestyle Studio
GFWC Metropolitan Club of
    Montgomery County
Giant Food
Glenstone Foundation
Goodwill Industries
    International, Inc.
Grace Episcopal Day School
Grady Management
Gregory R. Stanley
Hallman Orthodontics
Harris Teeter
Health & Human Services
Healthtrax Fitness and
Healthy Directions, LLC
Hungry Harvest, LLC
International Society For
James Hubert Blake High
Jared and Irene Drescher
JBG Companies
Jewish War Vet. Ladies Aux.
Journey's Crossing
Kaiser Permanente
Katzman Family Foundation
Living Faith Lutheran Church
Lockheed Martin- Justice
Macy's Corporate
    Services, Inc.
Maryland Central Seventh
    Day Adventist Korean
MCPS Nutrition Services
Millstone at Kingsview
Montgomery Community
Montgomery County
Montgomery County Road
Morgan Stanley - The
    Feldman Group
Otsuka America
    Pharmeceutical, Inc.
Parkside Plaza Condominiums
Potomac Presbyterian

Ralph S. & Frances R. Dweck
    Family Foundation, Inc.
Response Tech
Richard Montgomery High
Saint Mark Presbyterian
Sandy Spring Bank
Sandy Spring Friends School
Scientific Consulting Group
Self Storage White Flint
Shepherd's Table
Sherwood High School
Shoe Train
Silver Pointe LLC
Sodexo Foundation
Somerset House
St. Andrew Apostle Catholic
Starbucks Corporation
State of Maryland
Target Educational
    Services Inc.
TD Charitable Foundation
Temple Beth Ami
The Brick Companies
The Open Door
    Foundation Inc.
TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm
Trader Joe's
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran
Twinbrook Baptist Church
Unitarian Universalist Church
    of Rockville
United Healthcare
Viasat, Inc.
Village of Martin's Additions
Washington Center For
    Buddhist Studies
Waters Landing Elementary
Watkins Mill High School
Whole Foods Market
Wraase Family Foundation

If you're interested in  donating food, making a financial contribution, or volunteering please contact us at:
Manna Food Center
9311 Gaither Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877 

Please support Manna through your workplace giving campaign.
United Way # 8846
CFC # 23028 

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