Feeding Our Community: Digium and Manna House

By Julie Webb

Hunger can impact people from all walks of life. Many Americans are only one catastrophe away – whether it be medical crisis,  job loss or loss of a family member – from food insecurity. Food security, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Whereas ‘food insecurity,’ according to the USDA means that “at times during the year, these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.”

Many believe that the problems associated with hunger are limited to small pockets of communities or lower income neighborhoods; the reality is much different. In 2016, approximately 1 in 8 households experienced food insecurity.

Alabama is one of twelve states that has a much higher food insecurity rate than the U.S. national average. Huntsville, Alabama, home of Digium’s headquarters, is no exception; and because of this, Digium selected a local organization, called Manna House, as our company’s 2017 Charity.

We recently had a kick-off meeting to learn more about Manna House, the people they serve, and ways our employees can make a difference.

Manna House provides food assistance to those in need due to unexpected life events. Often, these are families who are living on a week-to-week, day-to-day basis struggling to afford the basic necessities. And just as often, those being served by Manna House include people who never imagined they would be in need of such assistance, but because of that “one catastrophe,” their circumstances suddenly changed.

Regardless of what brings them to Manna House, they can count on support with food and other necessities. Three days a week, Manna House opens their doors and often finds a line of people waiting to receive daily provisions of food and supplies. Rain or shine, the non-profit organization sometimes serves over 1500 people per day. Some of the supplies even include pet food so that families will not have to give up their loyal family pet during difficult times. Manna House also takes food out into the community via their food truck delivery and their school-based Backpack Program. The Backpack program provides snacks and ready-to-eat foods for school-aged children that lack adequate food supplies on the weekend. Last year, Manna House, along with over 150 volunteers, and other civic-minded organizations packed over 45,000 backpacks!

Over the next year, Digium employees will be volunteering at Manna House, organizing food drives and assisting with the Backpack Program.

Digium employees look forward to working with Manna House to help beat hunger in North Alabama.
To learn more about Manna House and how you can help, please visit the Manna House website. While we are proud to have this locally founded and managed organization to help fight hunger in our community, there are similar programs around the world working toward the same mission. If you are interested, we certainly encourage you to look for a program in your area and join us in our effort to make a difference in our local communities (wherever that is for you!).

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About the Author

Julie Webb

Julie Webb is the Marketing Communications (MARCOM) Director at Digium. She joined the company in January 2005 after spending many years in the telecommunications industry. Julie and her team are responsible for corporate branding and events, most notably AstriCon.

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