Manna's Culinary Program

In order for a person to gain greater self-sufficiency, several elements are necessary. The main components include having basic needs met such as food and shelter plus acquiring new jobs skills and completing or expanding education. It’s widely known that Manna offers healthy meals and resources to its clients, but maybe not so recognized is that Manna provides a skills training program as well.

Manna’s Culinary Program was established in 2014 as a way to help people gain the necessary skills to secure a job in the food service industry. Culinary Manager Rebecca McKibben offers a 10-week course with teachings by guest chefs from our community. Partnerships with local resources offer services with weekly classroom presentations. The program is open to the community and Manna clients. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Certificate of Completion and their two-year CO state recognized Food Handlers Certificate. By combining cooking skills and baking skills obtained in our commercial kitchen, as well as life skills taught in our classroom, graduates are taking those next steps in life toward successful independence. Students can expect to jump start long-term employment through discipline and determination. 

Circular Website Graphics -Culinary

Information Covered

Skills and subjects covered in the Culinary Arts track include sanitation and safety, hot and cold food production, baking, nutrition and basic job requirements such as resume writing and interview skills. Students will gain hands-on experience, which will put them in a strong position to gain employment in the food service industry.

For more information, or if you would like to get a tour of the kitchen, call Manna’s Culinary Manager, Rebecca McKibben, at (970) 385-5095, ext. 4 or send an email to

Quick Facts

  • There are 2 classes each year: fall and spring
  • The program runs for 10 weeks – daytime classes
  • Cost is $1,000 with payment & full scholarships available
  • Class size is only 8 students per semester
  • A portion of the food used for teaching/learning comes from the Manna Garden
  • The program has an 75% job placement rate
  • The Durango Restaurant Association is actively involved in the program
  • Upon completion, students receive a Culinary and Food Handlers Certificate
  • Manna is contributing to the overall health and economic vitality of the region