The mission of Manna is to provide, in the spirit of faith and love, nourishing meals and supportive services in an atmosphere of acceptance and caring for those in need.
Manna Soup Kitchen was founded in May, 1985. The previous winter, a woman died from starvation in a horse stall at the La Plata County Fairgrounds in Durango, Colorado. Scrawled on the wall beside her were the words, “nobody cares.” This tragedy resulted in a small group of Christians organizing to provide food for those who were hungry. Meals were initially served in the parking lot of the Spanish Assembly of God Church, but soon moved to the Church kitchen. This became Manna’s first permanent home and meals were served there for the next eight years.
In 1992, Sacred Heart Catholic Church provided their parish hall for meals. In 1995, the first staff person was hired. By 2000, plans began to build a facility capable of serving over 150 people a hot meal, away from of the elements. The new building opened in 2002 with a modern kitchen, a large dining hall, and laundry and shower facilities available. In 2004, Manna began its own fresh garden.
In 2014, with the creation of Manna’s newly added culinary and administrative building, Manna hosted its first culinary arts program. Since then, two classes of eight students each graduate every year with a culinary arts certificate. The job placement rate of the program boasts approximately 80 percent.
Currently, Manna serves over 60,000 meals per year including breakfast, a hot lunch and hot and cold to-go dinners. While the mission of Manna is still to feed those in need, the organization has expanded its services to include skills training programs to prepare people for jobs in the food industry and gain greater self-sufficiency. By doing this, Manna is contributing to the overall health and economic vitality of the region.
It’s because of our donors, volunteers, and sponsors that Manna had a successful 2017. Here are some of our extraordinary numbers:
Meals Served – 64,323
Lunches/Hot Meals to Go – 22,075
Breakfasts Served – 28,542
Dinners Served – 5,418
Sack Lunches Prepared – 8,288
Children Served – 1,370
Incoming Food Donations – 124,035 lbs/$248,070
Outgoing Donations – 10,504 lbs/$21,008
Volunteer Hours – 10,812
Take-Home Backpacks – 5,816
Prescription Coverage – 6 RX/$84.68
Haircut Vouchers – 67
Bus Passes – 3,907
Thrift Store Vouchers – 236
IDs/Driver’s Licenses – 45
Emergency Food Boxes – 121/278 people
Culinary Program Graduates – 9
Board and Staff Contributions – 100%
Board of Directors