Manna is one of only a few soup kitchens in the United States 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, 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.
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 1,500 pounds of produce were harvested in 2017, contributing to 60,000 meals from June to October.
The Manna Market Free Produce Stand
Every Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., June 27th - October 3rd
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. In 2017, over 5,000 pounds of fresh produce was given away. The produce for the stand comes from the Manna Garden, vendors at the Durango Farmer’s Market, other local farmers, and backyard gardeners. 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the latest from The Garden Project of Southwest Colorado on the TGP blog.