Miren Hower Merrill joined Project MANA as a volunteer in 2016. She was initially involved as a member of the Fundraising Advisory Committee. She then started volunteering at the distributions finding that the "boots on the ground" approach kept her connected to the mission. This broad based experience with the organization eventually led to the position of Program Director.
Miren has 30 years of sales and small business experience and is bilingual, with Spanish being her first language. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 1989 with a B.A. in Communications and an emphasis in Public Relations.
Miren's goal is to develop Project MANA'S signature service of supplemental food distribution by adding enhanced health and wellness services at distribution sites. She is currently working on a diabetes education and prevention component to benefit Project MANA's community members who might not otherwise have access to valuable information and programs.
Miren currently resides in Incline Village with her husband Andrew Merrill and her two pit bull rescues, Sunny and Macklemore. She is an avid skier, hiker and paddle boarder making the North Lake Tahoe area her favorite place in the whole world.
Volunteers Help Make Project MANA's Mission Possible
Cathy Thibault and Marilyn Moon, both long-time Truckee residents, have been volunteering with Project MANA since 2002! Cathy and Marilyn are reliable, experienced warehouse and distribution volunteers who help Project MANA to sort and pack food in our warehouse as it comes in. They also help distribute it to our community members a our weekly food distributions.
When asked why she volunteers with Project MANA, Cathy says, "I love to feel needed and I love the work at Project MANA, it makes me happy. I look forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays!"
Marilyn said, "Volunteering with Project MANA is fun and a great way to give back to our community. I love seeing everyone and the connections I've made are priceless. I'm excited about the direction Project MANA is taking and the growth I've seen over the years."
THANK YOU CATHY & MARILYN!
Learn more about volunteering with Project MANA.
Kelly Brothers Painting, located in Truckee and Reno, leads a community service project called, “Feed your Neighbor”.
Kelly Brothers Painting partners with Project MANA and Tahoe Food Hub to keep fresh food available to the community by donating fresh produce during the winter months and beyond. Kelly Brothers Painting has, and will continue, to provide healthy boxes of fresh, local produce to Project MANA for distribution in our community.
“The Feed your Neighbor Project is a great model for any business looking to give back to the community,” says Susie Sutphin, Director of the Tahoe Food Hub. “Not only does the project provide healthy food to those in need but supports local farms too.”
“1 in 7 community members in North Tahoe and Truckee are hungry. Project MANA’s mission is to reduce the incidence of hunger and its detrimental effects. We strive to offer a nutritionally balanced assortment of food weekly to community members in need. The bi-weekly donation of fresh produce from Tahoe Food Hub given by Kelly Brothers Painting helps us meet our goal of regularly providing fresh food to our community in 2018," commented Miren Hower Merrill, Program Director for Project MANA.
“Our employees and owners at Kelly Brothers Painting believe in supporting our community and what better way to do it than help those that are less fortunate. This is why we created “Feed Your Neighbor” to give food to those in need through Project MANA,” said Bill Kelly, owner of Kelly Brothers Painting, Inc.
6,000 Pounds of Food Donated By You!
The following businesses and organizations conducted food drives on behalf of Project MANA during the fourth quarter of 2017, collectively donating almost 6,000 pounds of food to be distributed in North Lake Tahoe & Truckee to help feed the 1 in 7 locals that face food insecurity.
AAUW Tahoe Nevada, BSM Consulting, Boys & Girls Club - Kings Beach, California Highway Patrol, Clear Capital, Creekside Charter School, Dubansky Family, Elemental Back & Body, Fat Cat Bar & Grill, Incline High School, Incline Village Board of Realtors, Incline Village Nursery School, Incline Village Library, Kings Beach Thanksgiving Dinner, Lake Tahoe School - lower school, North Lake Tahoe Visitor Center, North Tahoe Democrats, North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation, North Tahoe School, Plumas Bank - Kings Beach/Tahoe City/Truckee, Precision Flooring, The Resort at squaw Creek, Sierra High S-Club, SOS Outreach, Sugar Bowl Academy, Tahoe City PUD, Tahoe City PUD -Golf Course Clubhouse, Tahoe Donner Association (Light Up the Night), Tahoe Expedition Academy, The Yoga Room, Town Church Truckee and Truckee High School.
*Project MANA apologies if any food drives were omitted in error.
Learn more about hosting a Food Drive for Project MANA; you can even host a virtual food drive!
Volunteers Help Make Project MANA's Mission Possible
Retired Fire Battalion Chief and Truckee resident, Greg Holm, has been volunteering with Project MANA for over a year. Greg participates weekly helping to sort and pack food in the warehouse and "works" the weekly distribution line. Greg also conducts Food and Companionship Exchange (FACE) visits, where he gets to spend a few minutes chatting with a homebound community member while delivering food.
When asked why he volunteers with Project MANA Greg says,
"Project MANA community members are no different than any of us. They have hit a 'rough spot' in life and need some help. And for me, helping others has incredible rewards. I get much more than I give."
When Greg's not helping to feed our neighbors in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee, you're likely to find him hiking, skiing, riding horses with his wife, children and grandchildren or working on his classic car collection.
THANK YOU GREG!
Learn more about volunteering with Project MANA.
KYNBO™, a local tech startup is teaming up, again, with Project MANA to help fight hunger in our Tahoe Truckee community this holiday season.
Through their Dollars for Download program, Kynbo aims to donate $1 to Project MANA for each new Kynbo app downloaded by a new user in the Tahoe Truckee community from December 24 – January 1, with a goal of 1000 new users. The user simply has to enter feedback via the Private Message feature to activate a $1 donation.
The Kynbo app is a food lovers dream come true. Once in the app, a single tap will take you directly to up to an up to date menu from nearby restaurants. And, forget searching by cuisine, because do you really crave “Asian” or do you want some Pho? You can now feed your cravings by finding out exactly where to get your fix - whether it’s fried pickles, type of IPA, brand of cheese, kid friendly… and as an opt-in feature, restaurants are letting our community know in real time, any specials or live music they may have going on.
1 in 7 N. Lake Tahoe and Truckee community members are hungry and struggle to provide nutritious, healthy meals on a regular basis. Project MANA exists to eliminate hunger and the anxiety of food insecurity by offering emergency food assistance for anyone in our community that needs it through our signature services including weekly mobile distribution (Tahoe City, Truckee, Kings Beach and Incline Village), Food and Companionship Exchange (FACE) home delivery program, Emergency Food Bag and Let’s Talk Turkey Thanksgiving distribution.
Last year, Project MANA distributed more than 193,633 meals to 2,100 community members in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee through our mobile food distribution and home food delivery programs. Project MANA was honored to be awarded 2017 Non- Profit of the Year by the Truckee Chamber of Commerce for the work we do in Truckee.
Please join Kynbo for Good in supporting Project MANA December 24 – January 1. Simply download the free Kynbo App, leave feedback via the private message feature and you’ve just help feed your hungry neighbors.
Learn more about Kynbo and Project MANA.
If you'd like to donate directly to Project MANA, you can do so here.
,Project MANA is honored to have been selected as the Truckee Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year. And we are so proud to call Truckee our BASE CAMP FOR A BIG LIFE!
This recognition comes after a very hard year, during which our team (staff and volunteers) worked through the transition of moving our warehouse operations to Truckee and showed up during endless snowstorms, without missing a beat, to ensure Project MANA was keeping locals in N. Tahoe & Truckee fed; at a cost of just $2.08 per meal – thanks to the support of our community.
We’d like to offer our congratulations to the other finalists in this category, the Family Resource Center of Truckee and the Tahoe Truckee Civil Air Patrol.
The following is the transcript of Presenter Tally Meek’s introduction to the award.
“At last count, there were over 250 non-profits in the Truckee-Tahoe region. The efforts of these organizations are felt by many citizens or businesses and all have a tremendous impact on our community’s well-being.
It’s no question that tonight’s winner has had a significant impact on the Truckee-Tahoe communities. Founded by a local Sierra Nevada College student, 26 years later it has grown to serve nearly 3,000 individuals annually including the needy, ill, elderly and children. That equates to almost 200,000 meals a year. Their services span across three counties and two states within the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee region.
Food is a fundamental human right. It is necessary for the maintenance of physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This organization works tirelessly to serve the community to reduce the incidence of hunger and its detrimental effects. They provide immediate relief to those experiencing hunger via weekly food distributions and food deliveries to homebound community members.
They recently had to find a new home after having been in Incline Village for many years. They found that home in Truckee. And throughout this difficult transition, there was no disruption of its very important, and much needed, services.”
Learn more about the hunger relief services Project MANA provides in N. Lake Tahoe and Truckee.
Click here to donate to Project MANA.
Don’t miss out on North Tahoe’s most flavorful fundraiser, Passport to Dining, benefiting the North Tahoe Business Association (NTBA), a non-profit community benefit organization. This fall social gathering will take place on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 6:00-9:00pm in a new venue this year, the Tahoe Biltmore in Crystal Bay, Nevada.
The popular event features up to 35 tasting stations including restaurants, caterers, breweries, and wineries as well as a raffle and a silent auction that features Northern California Getaway Packages and many valuable items. This year, NTBA will donate a portion of the net proceeds to Project MANA.
One in 7 locals are hungry. Project MANA fed over 2,100 community members in N. Tahoe & Truckee last year through our weekly food distributions (Incline Village, Tahoe City, Kings Beach and Truckee) and our home delivery program, Food and Companionship Exchange (FACE).
Advance tickets are $40 and include unlimited, responsible tastings. Day of event tickets are $50 and are only available at the venue starting at 6:00pm and are on a first-come, first served basis. Must be 21+ year of age; ID required at event registration.
Some of the confirmed tasting and beverage stations include: Caliente, CB’s Bistro, D’Lish Catering & Burrito Window, Morgan’s Lobster Shack, Pep’s Place, Alibi Ale Works, Brewforia, Common Cider, and Nevada City Winery.
Passport to Dining is brought to you by the North Tahoe Business Association (NTBA) and sponsored by tasting station participants, and Tahoe Biltmore, Kynbo Restaurant App, The Tahoe Weekly, Moonshine Ink, and Placer County.
Click here to listen!
Tickets for Pho for Project MANA are $40 each and available for purchase here.
For the second year in a row, Project MANA as been awarded honorable mention in the Best Non-Profit category in the 2017 Best of North Lake Tahoe & Truckee. Thank you!
Food insecurity DOES exist in our community. One out of 7 locals in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee experiences food insecurity and hunger, and over 30% of them are children. Our clients – your neighbors - have many different reasons for needing food assistance: Some are seniors living on a fixed income; some have multiple jobs that don’t pay enough to cover the high cost of living in our region; some are laid off for a period of time due to the seasonality of work; and others have an abundance of medical bills and have to choose which bills WONT be getting paid this month. As Truckee/Tahoe is a resort-based location, hunger looks very different than other parts of the country, and is not often seen by the naked eye.
Last year, Project MANA distributed over 232,000 lbs. of food through our mobile weekly food distribution program, our home food delivery program, and our emergency food box program. - that’s 193,200 meals in one year to our community, feeding nearly 2,100 individuals at a cost of $2.08 per meal.
Project MANA has been serving the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee communities, working to eliminate hunger, for over 25 years through our weekly food distributions (Tahoe City, Truckee, Kings Beach and Incline) our Food and Compassion Exchange and our Emergency and Cooking Compromised Food Bags. Learn more about our Programs & Services.
You can learn even more about our food distribution by watching the video PSA below created in partnership with Truckee Tahoe Community TV.
Please help Project MANA keep Tahoe Fed by donating today!