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.

Our Story

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 in the community who were experiencing hunger. 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 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 onsite garden.

In 2014, with the creation of Manna’s newly added culinary and administrative building, Manna hosted its first class of Culinary Program students. Since then, classes of 6-8 students each graduate every year with Culinary and Food Handlers Certificates. The program boasts a job placement rate of approximately 75 percent. Currently, Manna serves nearly 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.

Our Board of Directors

Matt Harper


Margery Poitras

Amber Johnson

Tomas German-Palacios

Madeline Marquardt


Jeff Saville

Nora Stafford

Jeff Sutherland

Mike Bray


Chris Burke

Mary Janis

2020 At a Glance

It is thanks to our donors, volunteers, and sponsors that we could serve our community in 2020.


Total Meals Served – 96,769

Lunches/Hot Meals to Go – 70,528

Breakfasts Served – 3,175

Dinners Served – 845

Sack Lunches Prepared – 20,347

Children Served – 1,654

Volunteer Hours – 4,831

Incoming Food Donations – 292,970 lbs (valued at $585,940)

Outgoing Food Donations – 138,824 lbs (valued at $277,648)

Take-Home Backpacks Provided to Children – 9,416

Prescriptions Filled – 10

Transit Passes – 3,000

Thrift Store Vouchers – 153

Haircut Vouchers – 22

IDs/Driver’s Licenses – 114

Emergency Food Boxes – 533 (serving 1,302 people)

Culinary Program Graduates – 8

Board Contributions – 100%


community partner