Manna’s origins reflect the shared efforts of community, civic and faith leaders to establish a centralized food bank for Montgomery County – and our history is just as remarkable as the people we serve.
When Manna’s doors opened in 1983, they were the doors of a vacant elementary school. Operations began with a meager budget, a single pledge of $3,100 and a donation of 16,000 pounds of food. At the time, Manna served just several hundred people.
Ever-increasing community support has allowed Manna to expand the scope of our work, and original operations are hardly recognizable. Now, we distribute more than 16,000 pounds of food daily. We operate as more than just a food bank; we are also a center of distribution and nutrition education. We have grown from serving hundreds of people each year to serving 40,058.
Manna has grown from serving hundreds of people each year to serving 40,058.
What’s more, our neighbors have progressively rallied around our cause. Today our extensive network of contributors includes more than 20 grant-making organizations, and more than 6,000 corporate, faith-based, not for profit and individual donors.
In the 1980s, Manna’s founders were driven by the realities of our recession-stricken county. Their steadfast sense of duty and integrity has compelled them to persevere through peaks and values of resources and another recession in the first decade of this century.
Manna and the 40,058 residents we currently serve remain indebted to their uncompromising vision. We are also committed to the next phase of our agency’s evolution so that ending hunger is a possibility, not a slogan. The face of hunger has been changing. The “crisis” mentality that spurred recession era responses is fading. The folks we are charged to serve remain under or unemployed, yet opportunities to address their realities are not at the top of many policy maker or philanthropist’s lists of concerns.
These neighbors are full of potential and untapped capacities. As Manna moves from transactions to relationships, we are building new networks to create solutions to the hunger problem.