Manna's Garden Project

Manna is one of only a few soup kitchens in the United Sates that has an onsite garden thanks to a partnership with the Garden Project of Southwest Colorado and a Block Grant from the City of Durango. The garden’s purpose is multidimensional and serves various segments of the population. It helps Manna to 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 yearly and boasts an 80 percent job placement rate. Roughly 1,300 pounds of produce is harvested each year, giving more than 1,500 participants a chance to eat more healthily.

The Manna Market Free Produce Stand

Every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., June 21st - October 11th

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. Over 6,000 pounds of fresh produce is given away each season. The produce for the stand comes from the Manna garden, vendors from the Durango Farmer’s Market, other local farmers and backyard gardeners. WIC has partnered with both organizations to advertise the market in local media, provide recipes and collect data.

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, at-risk teen interns from La Plata Youth Services and Colorado Master Gardeners, 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. 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, contact brooke@thegardenprojectswcolorado.org

For more information on the garden or to volunteer, call Jason Cloudt at 970-385-5095 ext. 5 or Brooke Frazer at 970-259-3123.

Visit the Garden Project’s Website to learn more about what they do for our community.

Get the latest from Manna and The Garden Project at TGP blog.

Volunteer in Our Garden

March 29th through November 1st

Client Workdays: Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Community Volunteer Workdays: Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Garden Tasks

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

Things to Bring

Gloves, hat, sunscreen, jacket, clippers

886

Volunteer Hours

1522

Total Participants

542

Educational Program Hours

1,300

Lbs. of Produce

Growing Opportunities. Feeding Community.