Manna Garden

Manna is one of only a handful of soup kitchens in the United States that has an onsite garden thanks to a partnership with The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado. The garden’s purpose is multidimensional and serves various segments of the population. It helps Manna be more self-sustaining and provides educational and nutritional benefits to the community.

The Harvest

Food harvested from the garden feeds Manna’s clients while also offering them opportunities to give back to Manna through client work days. Additionally, the garden supplies instructional produce for Manna’s Culinary Program, which graduates approximately 16 students each year. Roughly 2,400 pounds of produce were harvested in 2018, an increase of almost 900 pounds from the previous year, contributing to nearly 25,000 meals from June to October 2018.

The Manna Market Free Produce Stand

Every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., June 27th - October 3rd, 2018

In 2016, The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado and Manna created the Manna Market, which is a free produce stand for food insecure community members. The produce for the stand comes from the Manna Garden, vendors at the Durango Farmer’s Market, other local farmers, and backyard gardeners. In 2017, over 7,000 pounds of fresh produce was given away. The Manna Market serves as a clearinghouse for local organizations to provide information about health, food resources, and other available community resources. Some partners include: La Plata Youth Services, Rainbow Youth Center, TRIO, Animas High School, and AmeriCorps NCCC.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Manna Market, contact brooke@thegardenprojectswcolorado.org.

Education and Service Through Gardening

When you volunteer in our garden, you’ll be “growing” community and also learning about specialized topics that include Biodynamic and organic gardening maintenance. One in five children in La Plata County face food insecurity. With your participation, we can ensure a bounty of food for generations to come. Because of the dedication of The Garden Project, volunteers, clients, Colorado Master Gardeners, and local teens from La Plata Youth Services, our garden haven is a special place where everyone belongs and learns together.

Cooking Matters at Manna (cooking class)

Learn how to prepare the fresh produce you receive at the Manna Market by attending a FREE 6-week cooking and nutrition class with Cooking Matters. Topics include: cooking tips and techniques, budgeting (how to stretch your food dollars and maximize your resources), plus tips on how to get your family to try new healthier foods. To sign up for the cooking class, visit the Manna Market or contact brooke@thegardenprojectswcolorado.org.

Get the latest from The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado on the TGP blog.

Volunteer in our Garden

Community Volunteer Workdays:

Every Wednesday March 28th through October 31st, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. 

Garden Tasks

Planting, mulching, weeding, dead heading, composting, bed building, harvesting

Things to Bring (if you have them!)

Gloves, hat, sunscreen, jacket, clippers

1,336

Volunteer Hours Contributed

1,487

Total Participants Reached

312

Educational Program Hours

2,424

Lbs. of Produce Harvested

Growing Opportunities. Feeding Community.