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‘This has been a godsend:’ Food Connection surpasses half-million meals delivered to needy

<i>WLOS</i><br/>Food Connection surpassed a significant milestone recently
Food Connection surpassed a significant milestone recently

By Samiar Nefzi

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Food Connection is celebrating a milestone in its battle against food insecurity.

The nonprofit has surpassed delivering half-a-million meals to community members in need.

“More families are in need of assistance,” Marisha Macmorran, executive director of Food Connection, told News 13 Saturday, Jan. 21. “We see families all the time that need to make a decision between paying rent, buying food, or gas in their car.”

According to Feeding America, it’s estimated that 34 million Americans face food insecurity — and in North Carolina, 1 in 8 go hungry.

‘Unusual’: Police warn shoppers about thieves’ new purse theft tactic “A lot of people are just scrapping by,” said Brian Hough, Food Connection’s chef. “They work hard and perform vital roles in our community.”

‘This has been a godsend:’ Food Connection surpasses half-million meals delivered to needy

In 2015, Food Connection was launched in North Carolina to help reduce food waste from restaurants, and, in turn, assist those in need with warm meals.

“We really realized the need for individual meals and that’s how we got here today,” said Macmorran.

Among their outreach programs is Mobile Meals. Every Saturday starting at 11 am you can find the vibrant truck parked at 105 Whitson, Swannanoa handing out meals.

“The food is so good,” said Pattie Prookens on Saturday, while picking up a meal.

The 91-year has used the program since 2020.

“I can’t hardly cook anymore at my age,” she explained. “It’s hard for me to stand on my feet. So, this is really good and helpful.”

The program is open to all in the community.

“For quite some time, I was pretty much disabled,” said veteran Steve Dunn.” Not [being] able to work, so I didn’t a whole lot of money, so this has been a godsend for me.”

On average, the mobile meal program provides anywhere from 150 to 215 meals every Saturday.

“It’s also a celebration of community,” said Macmorran. “We get to share these meals with everybody. We believe that food is love and food is community.” Hough has been with Food Connection for the past six months helping to craft a variety of meals.

“With the rising cost of inflation everything [is] more expensive,” said Hough. “[This has] become more crucial than ever.”

The food is donated by local food partners like area hotels, restaurants and other organizations.

“It’s the best leftovers in town,” said Hough. “This is food that people paid top dollar for the night before we’re serving it.”

The effort is also accomplished thanks to the volunteers to assist staff members with distribution efforts.

At 12 years old, Ryder Macmorran assists his mother and other staff members with orders.

“It feels like I’m helping out and doing something good in the world,” said Ryder.

“I believe in the power of food and what it can do to people’s lives,” said Hough. “I believe sharing food and having something to look forward to can make people’s days a lot better.” Since 2015, Food Connection has kept 205 tons of food out of the Buncombe County Landfill.

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