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Donations Needed for Children in Smart Sack Program | Community Spirit

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Donations Needed for Children in Smart Sack Program
Donations Needed for Children in Smart Sack Program

Manna Food Center is the main food bank in Montgomery County serving over 175,000 individuals throughout the course of the year.

In 2005, this non-profit partnered with local businesses and organizations to begin a food program combating childhood hunger in elementary schools. Through this program, Manna Food Center provides 1900 students with backpacks full of kid-friendly food every Friday, solely off donations, to make sure they have nutritious food over the weekend when subsidized food is not an option.

“We have 53 schools we partner with to make sure 1900 students have access to nutritional meals every weekend. There’s a need on a larger level to help, but unfortunately funds and food don’t go that far. This year we were able to add 600 students in three schools to our program. This is great progress, but the need for healthy meals in our community is far greater,” explained Manna Food Center’s Executive Director, Kim Damion.

The Manna Food Center is asking for your support in donating healthy items that are rich in whole grains, low in sodium, and with little or no added sugar to continue to help children that are at risk of hunger.

The following items are needed in order to keep the program going:


8 ounce or smaller cans of:

  • Vegetables (such as spinach, corn, green beans, beets...)
  • Beans
  • Tuna, salmon, chicken, and turkey packed in water
  • Fruit packed in water or juice

Individual, microwaveable bowls of:

  • Whole grain pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Soup or chili  

Macaroni and cheese (made with whole grain)  

Instant Oatmeal Packets (Original, Apple/Cinnamon, Maple Brown Sugar or Cinnamon and Spice)

Individual, shelf-stable milk boxes  

Healthful Snack Items:

  • 18 ounce or smaller jars of natural peanut butter or other nut butters
  • Individual boxes of raisins or other dried fruit
  • Individual bags of nuts or seeds
  • Whole grain crackers packaged in individual sleeves
  • Unsweetened applesauce and fruit cups


***Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm at 9311 Gaither Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.***


“Smart Sacks is a key piece to breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty and provides children with the opportunity to learn and succeed at school.Just because hunger isn't in your backyard, that doesn't mean children at risk of hunger aren't in your neighbor’s backyard or at a friend's house down the street,” explained Kim Damion