Tuesday, May 31, 2011


You may have seen the “easy” button used in the advertisements of an office supply store. The implication is that good things can happen at the push of a button.

Some might think that Manna has access to an easy button. For example, when demand for our food pantry increased by 20% we easily responded to the need. When 45 people show up for a meal, instead of the average 35, everyone is easily fed. When a struggling family on the verge of being homeless comes for aid, we easily write a check to cover their mortgage.

Anything is "easy", when you have the support of a caring community, and the heart to respond…

Monday, May 23, 2011

Following the Need

Now in her 30s, Megan remembers growing up with Manna. Her parents had separated and her mom often came to shop for groceries. Megan fondly looks back at the holidays of her youth, remembering it was Manna that provided her Christmas gifts. Megan grew up, eventually married, started a family and began giving back to Manna, organizing food drives a couple times a year.

But now her family has hit a bump in the road. Last week she stopped in to sign up to receive food. Her husband was laid off, and while he found another job, the pay is very low and does not include health benefits. It was really difficult for Megan to come in, but she has a family to feed and not very many options. As she left with groceries, and diapers for her youngest child, we encouraged her to take heart; in a few years she would be back again, on the other side, giving back, lifting up and caring for another family. As things are, we know there will be others coming along behind her...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Silent Supporters

When you walk into Manna on Main Street, it is best to open the door slowly... chances are that a volunteer will be coming down the hallway with a plate of food, or a client will be standing there asking for information. It’s possible too, that boxes of diapers will be stacked up nearby or that recently donated bags of food will be lying on the floor. At times it can be a challenge, finding a place for things and having a smooth flow of traffic and goods. In spite of that, none of the clients complain about the difficulty in moving about – even the woman on crutches is patient and understanding, knowing that we are doing the best we can with what we have. We continue to be grateful for those we serve and how they gracefully support our work…

Monday, May 9, 2011

Surf and Turf

You might expect that if surf and turf were to appear on the menu at Manna on Main Street, it would consist of fish sticks and hamburgers. That was definitely not the case yesterday, as Barry (our Chef and Food Service Manager) prepared a seven course meal including shrimp and Filet Mignon. It was a special occasion for two of our clients, as they were the winners of our April raffle, Dinner With the Mayor (thanks Mayor Andy Szekely for being there). Every few months we have a contest to celebrate our guests; it's a way for us all to have some fun and make them feel special.

It can be easy to lose track of how difficult life can be, day after day, for many of our clients. They show up for a meal, then go on their way. Every so often it's good for them to feel like maybe they'll be the lucky one, win a prize, and feel lifted up, even if it's only for a day...

Monday, May 2, 2011

What Is This?

People will often ask, what is the origin of Manna’s name. Actually, it comes from the Bible, and refers to the manna, the “bread from heaven” that God sent to the Israelites as they were wandering through the desert. The word manna, translated literally is, “what is this.” To the Israelites it was a wonder, a confounding gift given to them, something difficult to comprehend.

So it is with Manna on Main Street, now 30 years old; people still asking, what is this…