Manna Serves To-Go Meals Every Day

04/08/2020

Although food donations have been cut by more than half because grocery-shoppers have beens tocking up on supplies, Manna manages to serve an average of 200 to-go meals a day.

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MANNA SOUP KITCHEN HAS HAD TO CLOSE ITS DOORS TO SIT-DOWN DINING, BUT LIKE MANY DURANGO-AREA RESTUARANTS, IT'S OFFERING FOOD-TO-GO WHILE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC PLAYS OUT IN THE COMMUNITY. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PAYROLL DEPARTMENT. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. MANNA SOUP KITCHEN, LIKE MANY RESTAURANTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, HAD TO CLOSE ITS DINING ROOM TO COMPLY WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS WITH THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. BUT THE NON-PROFIT CONTINUES TO PROVIDE AN AVERAGE OF 200 HOT MEALS A DAY, HANDING THEM OUT IN TO-GO BOXES TO RESIDENTS WHO MAY BE THREATENED BY FOOD INSECURITY AS A RESULT OF LAY-OFFS, UNEMPLOYMENT OR UNDEREMPLOYMENT.WE ARE SEEING AN INCREASE. THE PEOPLE THAT WE'RE SEEING, WE'RE SEEING CLIENTS THAT WE HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE, AND WE REALLY SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY WHO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY KNOW. COME GET A HOT MEAL BETWEEN 9 AND 11 A.M. EVERY DAY. MANNA. WE ANTICIPATE DOING THIS EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. AND WE'RE REALLY HAPPY TO SEE THAT THE WORD IS GETTING OUT THERE AND THAT WE ARE SEEING NEW FOLKS WHO ARE STRUGGLING, DUE TO BECOMING SUDDENLY UNEMPLOYED. IT'S REALLY IMPACTING OUR COMMUNITY IN BIG WAYS. MANNA SERVES BETWEEN 150 TO 250 HOT MEALS A DAY, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK FROM THE BACK DOOR OF ITS KITCHEN. IT ALSO DELIVERS FOOD AND SUPPLIES TO FAMILIES IN NEED THROUGH THE LA PLATA FAMILY CENTERS COALITION. AND IT PROVIDES ABOUT 60 SANDWICHES A DAY TO THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY WITH THE HELP OF SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR INDEPENDENCE DRIVERS WHO DELIVER THE FOOD PACKAGES, ALONG WITH TOILETRIES AND OTHER SUPPLIES, TO THE PURPLE CLIFFS CAMP ON LA POSTA ROAD. REBECCA McKIBBEN AND SHEANAN CULLOTY ADMIT THAT FOOD DONATIONS HAVE DROPPED SIGNIFICANTLY, PARTICULARLY FROM GROCERY STORES THAT HAVE BEEN DEPLETED BY CUSTOMERS PREPARING TO STAY AT HOME FOR SEVERAL MORE WEEKS. PRIOR TO THE PANDEMIC, MANNA PROCESSED MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND POUNDS OF DONATED GROCERY STORE FOOD EACH WEEK, NOW IT RECEIVES HALF THAT AMOUNT. INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS CONTINUE TO TRICKLE IN AS DO CASH DONATIONS THROUGH ONLINE GIVING. IN THE MEANTIME, McKIBBEN AND CULLOTY SAY THEY'RE USING UP THE KITCHEN'S STORE OF DRY GOODS LIKE BEANS, RICE, PASTA, AND CANNED FOODS. AND CULLOTY REMINDED THE COMMUNITY THAT ALL MEALS ARE FREE AND AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS OR NEEDS ONE.I REALLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE THE COMMUNITY TO REALIZE THAT THIS IS THE COMMUNITY DONATIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY. YOU KNOW, THIS ISN'T JUST FOR PEOPLE DEALING WITH HOMELESSNESS OR YOU KNOW, NECESSARILY FOOD INSECURE. THIS IS ALL OF US COMING TOGETHER HERE. AND IT'S LIKE, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU'RE AN UNEMPLOYED LINE COOK OR YOU KNOW, A SERVER THAT YOU COULD PROBABLY MAKE IT, BUT IT WOULD BE NICE YOU HAVE A MEAL. IT'S LIKE ANYONE CAN COME UP HERE AND GET FOOD AND FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH IT. YOU KNOW, THE COMMUNITY IS PROVIDING THIS, NOT JUST MANNA, IT'S LIKE ALL OF US COMING HERE, MAYBE THAT MORE THAN EVER RIGHT NOW WE REALLY DO NEED THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT THAT MAKES THIS, IT'S THE BLOOD. YOU KNOW, IT'S WHAT KEEPS THE HEART PUMPING HERE AT MANNA AND KEEPS THIS GOOD WORK HAPPENING. AND YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT, IT'S NOT COMMON THAT YOU CAN SEE A SOUP KITCHEN WITH A COUPLE OF CLASSICALLY TRAINED CHEFS BEHIND THE WHEEL. YOU KNOW, SO WE'RE, WE'RE REALLY, WE TAKE A LOT OF, WE PUT A LOT OF LOVE AND PASSION. THIS IS OUR LIFE'S WORK AND THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE TO DO. AND SO BOTH US SIX YEARS AT EXEC CHEF, RIGHT? SO, YOU KNOW, IT'S A, IT'S A JOY TO DO THIS AND WE DO TAKE GOOD CARE OF OURSELVES TO STAY HEALTHY AND KEEP AS MANY PEOPLE HEALTHY AS WE CAN. SO WE WANNA WE WANT TO SEE PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, COME AND GET, WE GET EXCITED WHEN WE GET, WHEN WE WATCH THE MEAL COUNT GO UP AND WE ARE HERE TO FEED PEOPLE. MEALS ARE SERVED FROM 9 TO 11 A.M. DAILY.  IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION, YOU CAN DO SO ONLINE AT MANNA SOUP KITCHEN DOT ORG. YOU CAN ALSO ORDER FOOD ONLINE THROUGH AMAZON DOT COM OR OTHER FOOD PROVIDERS AND HAVE IT DELIVERED TO MANNA AT 11 HUNDRED AVENIDA DEL SOL IN DURANGO. THANKS FOR WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, CREATED LOCALLY, DELIVERED LOCALLY AND SUPPORTED BY LOCAL BUSINESSES. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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