Manna at the Shore presentation

Members of the Greater Atlantic City LGBT Alliance present a check to Susan Simon at the Meals that Matter fundraiser Dec. 3. From left are Laurie Greene, Greater Atlantic City LGBT Alliance board member; Melanie Rice, LGBT Alliance treasurer and featured performer at the benefit; LGBT Alliance President Richard Helfant; Manna at the Shore President Susan Simon; LGBT Alliance Vice President Larry Sieg; and LGBT Alliance board member Jeremy Bingaman.

Submitted

NORTHFIELD — The all-volunteer army of chefs, prep cooks, bakers, packers and others at Manna at the Shore who churn out healthy meals for people too fragile to cook for themselves will be able to continue their work for another year because of the success of their annual fundraiser.

Meals that Matter, Manna's 23rd annual fundraising gala held Dec. 3 at Beth Israel Synagogue, raised a record $36,590.

Ticket sales for the dinner netted $30,000. On top of that, proceeds got a boost from a $4,000 donation from the Greater Atlantic City LGBT Alliance and $2,500 from the Schultz Hill Foundation.

Larry Sieg, vice president of the LGBT Alliance, presented a check representing both donations to Manna at the Shore President Susan Simon at the event.

Simon said the proceeds and the donations will keep their operation funded for the entire year.

Manna volunteers prepare meals twice monthly in the Beth Israel kitchens for people in the community who have HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses that prevent them from being able to cook.

While Simon and her crew plan the meals and prepare and pack them, members of the South Jersey AIDS Alliance take on the task of delivering the meals. They fan out across Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties delivering more than 2,000 nutritionally balanced meals each month.

Manna will provide roughly 24,000 meals over the course of the year.

Manna began with a few friends who recognized a need and figured out a way to fulfill it.

Roberta Conners, Deborah Monheit and a few others got together in 1993 to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people who had HIV/AIDS. 

The program grew, and Manna now has a legion of volunteers ranging from high school students to senior citizens.

Simon said the goal has always remained the same: to provide someone with a good meal and the knowledge that people really do care.

Anyone can be a Manna volunteer. All of the cooking is done at Beth Israel Synagogue, 2501 Shore Road in Northfield. Thursday, Jan. 4 is the next cook date.

For  information see mannashorenj.org or call 609-641-3600.

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