Culinary training and job skills for gainful employment.

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. 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. This course is facilitated by our Culinary Specialist with teachings by guest chefs from our community. Partnerships with local resources offer services with weekly classroom presentations. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Certificate of Completion and their three-year CO state recognized Food Handlers Certificate. By combining cooking 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 and obtaining gainful employment. 

Changing Lives One Student at a Time

During his intake interview, Tyler shared stories about his extremely strict upbringing and experiencing intermittent, chronic homelessness beginning at the age of 13. Shortly after his 18th birthday, he enrolled in the Manna Culinary Program with a passionate attitude and a desire to succeed. With the help of supportive volunteers and the staff at Manna, he completed the 10-week session with perfect attendance. In addition to excelling in the culinary program, he also volunteered in the soup kitchen on a regular basis to sharpen his skills whenever possible.

To quote Tyler, “Patience is key, as is being strict.” Tyler is overcoming the odds and, through resiliency, is gaining more and more independence each day. Shortly after completing the Culinary Program, he secured a cook position at one of the largest restaurants in Durango. He was promoted to a shift lead position soon thereafter.

How do I enroll as a student?

Our classes are small so that we can offer the personal attention needed to help you achieve success.

How do I support this program?

Community members can support Manna’s Culinary Program in a variety of ways. We offer opportunities to sponsor a student, teach as a guest chef, and hire our talent.


Growing Opportunities, Feeding Community.

Every day Manna works to strengthen the food security of La Plata County. Your support makes this happen.