Community Food Education

Manna’s Community Food Education Programs offer free programming that makes crucial health information more accessible. Manna provides the lessons, volunteers, and cooking demonstration food (if applicable). Any of the workshops or classes listed below can be offered in multiple languages; we simply ask your agency to provide an onsite interpreter. If you have any questions or concerns about our Community Food Education Services please contact our Community Food Education Program Manager, Cynthia Wilson at cynthia@mannafood.org or schedule a call with her here.

Community Food Education Services

Community Health Presentations- Now Virtual

Formerly known as our “Health Workshops” these interactive workshops cover a range of commonly requested health topics like how to reduce sugar, eat nutrient-dense foods on a budget, and reduce instances of chronic diseases like diabetes. When requested, a Manna volunteer will come to your site, present, and offer your community assistance with their health-related goals and questions. Each presentation lasts an hour, and you may request multiple workshops for your site.

Group Requirements:

Current Presentation Offerings:
Scheduling: Click here to schedule

Community Kitchen Classes

The classes held at our Community Kitchen, at Silver Spring United Methodist Church, focus on healthy eating on a budget and offer community members the opportunity to learn new recipes, cooking tricks, and taste it all at the end. During each hour-long class, we start with a healthy food demonstration, discuss nutrition concepts and information, and enjoy tasting our recipes at the end. We learn how to work around lack of time and money and practice key strategies that encourage our participants to create and eat nutrient-dense foods. We believe that utilizing the right strategies and with access to the right resources, families can enjoy the multitude of benefits that cleaner cooking and eating provides.

Group Requirements:
Current Class Offerings:
Scheduling: Click here to schedule


Mobile Kitchen Classes

Looking for cooking education programming specifically for children or adults? At Manna, we are determined to make healthy eating accessible for all residents of Montgomery County, and we offer specialized cooking classes on our Mobile Kitchen. During each hour-long class, we focus on cooking and are eating foods that focus on meeting core nutrition standards such as more fruits/veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and plant-based/lean proteins. We cook recipes together as a group and enjoy tasting our recipes at the end.  Click here for more information about our Mobile Kitchen.

Group Requirements:

Current Class Offerings:
Scheduling: Click here to schedule


***If your group is larger than 12-16 people, we’d be happy to rotate through participants, stay at your location until we reach every individual, or revisit your site multiple times to adequately serve your group.


Current Workshop and Class Offerings


Community Health Workshop Offerings:

1. Habits to Hinder Diabetes and Chronic Disease Workshop

This two-part nutrition workshop series is for individuals living with Type II diabetes or who want to prevent diabetes. Habits to Hinder Diabetes and Chronic Disease covers the standard American diet vs. eating for disease prevention, foods to maintain good health, motivational tips to get started, as well as signs and symptoms that signal a doctor’s visit.

2. Shocking Secrets About Sugar Workshop

An interactive one-hour session that will answer the question: can sugar really be addictive? In addition to the brain’s response to sugar, we’ll cover the 46 other names for sugar, eating tips to prevent or control chronic disease, and offer hands-on practice for identifying healthy food choices. Participants arrange sugar packets to visualize the amount of sugar in common snacks, beverages, and pantry items.

3. Healthy Food: Fact or Fiction Workshop

A walk-through of our most commonly asked food and health questions designed to dispel eating myths and solidify knowledge around key core nutrition principles. We decode and demystify many grocery store advertisements and descriptions and uncover what organic, made with real fruit, heart-healthy, and low sodium mean for our bodies and well-being.

4. Smart Shopping

Balancing eating health and saving money can be a challenge but we will discuss how to navigate through the grocery store and make cents out of purchasing healthy foods. We’ll discuss tricky advertising, the meaning behind popular product health labels, and easy ways to save money on products that you already purchase.



Mobile Kitchen Class Offerings:


1. Small Bites Kids Cooking Class by Common Threads

For our Kid’s Classes, we use a curriculum called Small Bites, provided by the organization Common Threads. Specifically tailored to children 3rd grade and older, we start all our classes with a hands-on activity, reading, game, or experiment focused around a core nutrition principle. Some of the principles we focus on are eating more fruits/veggies, whole grains, plant proteins, etc. Then, we cook together as a group and enjoy tasting our recipes at the end. The Small Bites curriculum specifically makes recipes that don’t require knives so our students can participate in every part of cooking. It focuses on cooking sides and snacks rather than full meals. It also emphasizes the Common Core and National Health Standards for each grade level through cooking involving science, math, and reading comprehension.

2. Healthy Eating On A Budget for Older Adults Cooking Class

Specifically tailored to adults ages 65 years or older, we start all our first classes with a simple recipe that we cook together and a lesson about reducing sugar and salt in our daily diets. After the first class, older adults are able to guide class recipes and discussions with their own lesson suggestions and questions. Each consecutive class focuses on two topics per lesson; a core nutrition principle such as eating more fruits/veggies, whole grains, plant proteins, as well as answering a prior classmate’s question. Some common questions include “what’s a healthy dessert I can make,” “what is a good recipe to make with my grandchildren,” or “how do I cook portions for just one person?” We always answer these participant-driven questions and emphasize core nutrition principles through cooking and eating a recipe. During each class, we encourage our participants to make connections with each other and share their own strategies they use to cook and eat nutritious foods.

For more information about any of these workshops, classes or services please contact Community Nutrition Education Program Manager, Cynthia Wilson at cynthia@mannafood.org