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 caring community members 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, students graduate every year with Culinary and Food Handlers Certificates. The program boasts a job placement rate of approximately 70 percent. Currently, Manna serves nearly 90,000 meals per year. While the mission of Manna is still to feed those in need, the organization has expanded its services to include job skills training programs to prepare people for employment 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

  • Nora Stafford
  • Tomas German-Palacios
  • Madeline Marquardt
  • Matt Harper
    Vice Chair
  • Chaz Shelton
  • Jeff Saville
  • Amber Johnson
  • Alison Dance
  • John Schrage
  • Mike Bray
  • Alison Dance
  • Jacqueline Henderson
  • Chris Burke
  • Brice Current