MANNA Volunteer Event and Pie Drive
Author: Sarah P.
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In the fall of 2014, I organized a volunteer event for the Philadelphia actuarial community at MANNA, which stands for Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance. They are a Philadelphia-based organization that prepares meals for people in the area who have life-threatening illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer and kidney disease. Every meal is catered to the individuals’ needs and has been proven to improve their health. Cigna supports giving back to the community by providing all employees one day of paid time off to serve their community, and for each of us this was a rewarding usage of half of this time.
We spent the morning preparing over 1,000 meals together, including chicken dinners with a variety of sides, apple-butter hummus sandwiches, egg sandwiches, and even cookies! Everything smelled great down in the kitchen. We learned while we were there that MANNA also provides meals for the rest of the household to ensure that the client is not only eating healthy, but can have peace of mind that knowing that their whole family is taken care of. We took some pictures dressed in our hairnets & aprons. MANNA tweeted one of these photos, which was re-tweeted by Cigna! Since the event included both program members & graduates of the AEDP, it was a really cool opportunity to get to know some senior leaders in the company on a much more personal level.
MANNA also sells pies for Thanksgiving. Those who couldn’t make the day of service were still able to give back. Most of the proceeds for these delicious pies goes towards feeding a local family a big Turkey-Day dinner! I personally ordered one to bring to “Friendsgiving” back home & I will probably do the same in the future.
After our volunteer shift was over, we all walked back to the office together and talked about what a great experience it had been. The morning was very rewarding for all of us, and a fun bonding time. Word must have gotten around, because when I solicited interest from the actuarial community for another MANNA service event in the spring of 2015, the spots quickly filled up to capacity! We are looking forward to going back again!