Project MANA’s 20th Anniversary: Celebrating the past and looking toward the future! |

Project MANA’s 20th Anniversary: Celebrating the past and looking toward the future!

George LeBardSpecial to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – It was 1991 when a college student from Sierra Nevada College, Anne Ryan Cunningham, distributed a case of donated soup out of a garage in Incline Village, Nev. and realized there was a need. Project MANA has come a long way, expanding first to office space in the Center Point building in Incline Village and then to a two-room office in Kings Beach with one dial-up Internet connection. Fast forward to the current space in the Donald W. Reynolds Community Non-Profit Center with state-of-the-art resources including high speed Internet access, a warehouse and walk-in refrigerators in which to store food. We’ve also expanded our service area, providing emergency food service and nutrition education programs to portions of four counties. We have gone from serving 2,024 individuals in 1992 to serving more than 34,000 individuals in 2010. Though our location has changed and service area has broadened, our mission has not changed. Project MANA aims “to reduce the incidence of hunger and its detrimental effects upon individuals, the local community and the region,” by:• Providing immediate relief to those experiencing food insecurity or at high-risk of hunger through emergency food programs.• Working with the individuals and families who seek food assistance to identify and alleviate the root causes of their hunger.• Mobilizing human and other community resources to advocate for the low-income population and educating the community about hunger issues.• Breaking the cycle of hunger to build a healthier, hunger-free community.We do this by collaborating with more than 30 partner agencies including schools, churches, health and human services and many other nonprofits in the Tahoe-Truckee region. We are a member of the Northern Nevada Food Bank, Serv-Safe Restaurant Association, the Community Collaborative of Tahoe Truckee, Tahoe-CAN and a United Way Partner Agency.In addition to providing hunger relief we have developed programs designed to alleviate the causes of hunger and promote good nutrition through education and awareness. Since 1995 we have completed 45 hunger awareness banquets with seventh graders, 180 nutrition education classes with second graders, 160 kids can cook classes with fourth and fifth graders, 15 salads in the garden with preschoolers, 26 fuel for the holidays with the Boys & Girls Club of North lake Tahoe. Last but not least we have made more than 27,000 grocery deliveries to home-bound clients, many of whom are on restricted diets.We would not be able to do this without supporters who have always been there for us. In particular we want to recognize the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation, the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the Lahontan Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, the United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierras, the Munson Family Foundation, Tahoe Mountain Club, the LEAP Foundation and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. A special thank you to all individual donors, churches and all partner agencies. Your support is important to our success.In recognition of our anniversary please join us Sept. 16, 2011 at 4 p.m. as we celebrate 20 years of service to our communities around Lake Tahoe and the Town of Truckee. Our program for the evening will highlight popular chefs from local restaurants demonstrating healthy meals with basic ingredients. We will have other activities including how to pack a nutritionally balance grocery bag, learning about the red, yellow, and green “food zones,” and living on a budget. This is a great opportunity to check out what we’ve been doing for the last 20 years. For more information please visit or call us at 775-298-0008.- Submitted to

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