Fast for hunger

Do you know that here in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee there are 3,000 residents living with food insecurity? Food insecurity is when you have no idea where your next meal is coming from. In a community with an abundance of wealth, everyone can help feed those in the community who are hungry. Project MANA has worked for the last 25 years to support people in need. This month, the nonprofit organization is setting out to raise $50,000 for hunger relief and everyone can help.

By Priya Hutner | Photos courtesy Project MANA

Project MANA’s “Fight Hunger Fast” campaign seeks to feed the community.

“This is a new peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, which asks people to raise money for us,” says development director Julie M. Malkin-Manning.

It’s easy. Commit to fast for 24 hours anytime in April, sign up on Project MANA’s Web site and reach out to friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you and support your fasting efforts. The money raised will provide 160,000 meals.

“During our last fiscal year, we distributed to the community 233,450 pounds of food. That’s $401,500 worth of food that fed the community more than 27,350 times,” she says.

In a community with an abundance of wealth, everyone can help feed those in the community who are hungry.

Malkin-Manning pointed out that spring is traditionally a time to cleanse. It’s also Lent when many undertake a fast or give up something for a period of time, which according to Malkin-Manning, seemed like the perfect time to initiate a campaign of this nature.

There are a number of benefits of fasting including better sleep, clearer skin, improved mental and emotional clarity, and renewed energy. A fast gives the systems of the body a rest from all of the things we eat and drink. Participants can fast with juice, broth — bone broth is excellent — and fruit for the day. If you are unable to fast, then you can help by sponsoring someone else to fast.

“Raising awareness is as important as raising money. Sexy raises money, but there’s nothing sexy about not knowing where your next meal comes from,” she says. “Each $1 donated provides 1.33 meals and a $20 contribution amounts to 27 meals.”

Project MANA spearheads a number of programs to feed the hungry. Their weekly meal distribution is held from 3 to 3:30 p.m. in the following locations: Mondays in Tahoe City at Fairway Community Center, Tuesdays in Truckee at the Community Arts Center, Wednesdays in Kings Beach at the Community House, and Thursdays in Incline Village at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church.

“Our volunteers worked hard this winter shoveling the snow to make space for the tents to serve everyone,” she says.

Food And Companionship Exchange (FACE), another program Project MANA offers, is a home food-delivery program that delivers to people who have physical or mental limitations. The organization also offers Emergency and Cooking Compromised Food Bags filled with nonperishables for people who need extra food because they need to leave their home or have no access to a refrigerator or stove.

Project MANA also hosts Let’s Talk Turkey, an annual event that provides a full Thanksgiving Day dinner to people in the community.

“For $50, someone can sponsor a Thanksgiving meal. We work with local service agencies, schools and churches to target the needs of people in the community,” she says.

The organization recently lost its distribution space and had to relocate the distribution warehouse to Truckee.

“We’ve always served Truckee, but never lived in Truckee. It cost a lot of money, new equipment and has increased our overhead,” she says.

Those interested in fasting or those interested in sponsoring a fast, can visit the Web site. There are a number of community members who have signed up; maybe you know one. I plan to sign up to fast for such a worthy cause. |

Priya Hutner

Priya Hutner is a writer, personal chef and meditation teacher. She writes feature articles about music, art, food and recreation. Priya loves to immerse in story. Whether jumping from a plane, eating obscure foods or hitting the Tahoe-Reno music scene, she is always up for adventure and experience.
Having moved to the mountains from Sebastian, Fla., she embraces the Tahoe lifestyle and loves to ski, hike, paddle and swim. Priya is the owner of the Seasoned Sage, a business that prepares organic meals and facilitates workshops that promote a health-conscious lifestyle.
She is currently writing a memoir about her experience living on an ashram and working on a series of cookbooks.