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Community Kitchen Open House Leaves Attendees Nourished and Fired Up

On September 12th we welcomed current and potential East County partners to our Community Kitchen Open House at Silver Spring United Methodist Church in Four Corners to hear about the adult classes we’re planning this Fall. Our 2 six-week class series, A Taste of African Heritage and A Taste of Latin Heritage, are designed to […]

Closing the Hunger Gap

Jamal here. This fall, Angela Whitmal (our Senior Director of Administration and Participant Services) and I traveled to Tacoma, Washington to attend the Closing the Hunger Gap Conference. The goal of this conference is to move hunger relief organizations toward strategies that promote social justice and address the root causes of hunger, using the lens of racial […]

Family Meals Month Means Chips? Why not!

Lindsey here. September marks Family Meals Month, encouraging people to set aside time at least a few days a week to convene the family around a home-cooked meal. Research shows that when families eat together, it’s better for kids’–and parents’–emotional well-being, performance, and diet. The simplest way to ensure a nourishing meal is to step […]

Kids Love Their Veggies at Gaithersburg Elementary

Lindsey here. Once upon a time, Manny the Mobile Kitchen was a humble school bus, toting 72 kiddos to and from school. He looked like this. These days, this school bus is taking kids’ taste buds through the rainbow of wholesome foods. Sixteen youth at Gaithersburg Elementary participated in the pilot program aboard our Manna […]

Four years at manna: what I forget to remember

Lindsey here. For four years I’ve worked in Nutrition Education at Manna. It’s also how long, before that, I applied for job after job, competing with more experienced colleagues who lost their careers in the Recession.   My role here is rooted in the community; I’m on-the-go to schools, senior apartments, and community centers most […]

Manna’s NEW Mobile Kitchen!

We know from Montgomery County’s Food Security Plan that families are not accessing or consuming enough vegetables.  As you likely know, vegetables really drive Nutrition Education:   Manna’s Mobile Kitchen & Pop-Up Pantry is a new program designed to tackle two barriers at once by bringing nutritious foods and cooking skills to our community. The MMK […]

Shocked about Sugar Shockers

Mike here, I am a Dietetic Intern completing my rotation at Manna Food Center. One of the great things that Manna does in the community is teach nutrition education classes. I was able to participate in one of these lessons today: The class is “Sugar Shockers” and I can definitely say I was shocked. It […]

Manna on the [Inter]national Stage

Lindsey here. While life is in full swing here at Manna’s warehouse, there have been remarkable opportunities to share Manna’s work with professionals across the country (and the world) this March.   Last week, I published a post about the 5 most interesting breakthroughs in health tips that I learned from experts at the International […]

Put Your Best Fork Forward

Lindsey here. Who’s heard this before:   “I was a vegetarian… for a week.” “I gave up soda for the New Year… for the month.” “I’m trying to lose weight. So I’m giving up pasta for the summer.”   Healthy intentions so often take the form of cutting out an entire food group—cold turkey, if […]

5 Things to Know About the Latest in Health

Lindsey here. Last week, I was a guest speaker at the International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference in Lousiville, Kentucky. Next week, I’ll be back to share how we intertwined Manna’s work with nationwide hunger-fighting efforts.   At IACP, I had the opportunity to learn about the latest in health, eating, and feeding from professionals all […]

Fresh News on Heart Health

Lindsey here. Did you know that February has been American Heart Health month since 1964? You have likely observed that nutrition advice has varied in the decades from then to today, but there are some things that never change. Here are some heart-healthy refrains from our Nutrition Education classes: Strive for at least 3 different […]

Manna Through The Eyes of Interns

Ben and Tuesday here. I’m sure you’re probably thinking, “Wait, who?” We are dietetic interns at the University of Maryland College Park, and we’ve had the privilege to spend the past two weeks at Manna Food Center. Throughout our rotation, we have gotten to experience many different aspects of what is done at Manna. We […]

The Privilege to Peruse the News

Lindsey here. A theme of conversation these days among Manna staff, particularly in our Breaking Bread conversations, is privilege. There are so many ways the privilege of time and leisure come into our health. A recent article about privilege and personal responsibility (a worthy read, check it out) reminded me that there are unexpected ways […]

What Boy Scout Ethan Made For Manna

Ethan Kach stopped by last week with a handcrafted gift for Manna. Two in fact.   Ethan first learned about Manna Food Center through the Boy Scouts’ participation in “Scouting For Food”. Ethan walked door to door the past four years for this annual food drive. Once a neighbor asked Ethan to volunteer in our warehouse […]

Three Minutes at Manna

Lindsey here. Here is what I observed in three consecutive minutes at Manna this week:     Mark Mills, a chocolatier, professional chef, and, oh yes, full-time farmer at Chocolate and Tomatoes farm, pulls up to Manna in his pick up truck, bearing gifts: coolers and crates overflow with freshly picked collard greens, cucumbers, jalapeños […]

Root to Stalk Eating

Lindsey here. This time of year, the open food boxes we distribute to clients are overflowing with local produce. It’s a beautiful sight: plump tomatoes and bouquets of kale tucked between varieties of purple, white and wee green eggplants. These fruits and veggies travel home alongside foods that our drivers rescue from grocery stores each day. […]

Eat the Rainbow (skip the skittles)

Lindsey here. Something special about Manna is that we promote “caring for those who care”. If you’ve ever served in a caregiving capacity for a loved one, you know that the caretaker’s own well-being is not always a priority. Likewise, at Manna we are bustling around in the business of distributing food each day—the need […]

Four Health Habits To Start Today

Lindsey here. I’ve been teaching healthy budget shopping with the Cooking Matters at the Store program for the three years I’ve been Manna’s Nutrition Educator. The questions that arise week after week are, sadly, the same: “I was just diagnosed with Type II diabetes, what can I eat now?”   In response to this question, […]

Eggplants are from Mars, Peppers are from Venus

Lindsey here. I just returned from Hollywood. Yes, Hollywood: the locale of this year’s conference for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. There were wonderful surprises on my trip, including a memorable conversation around Nigerian cuisine with my cab driver, Joseph. I also met some food heroes of mine, Marion Nestle and Lynne Rossetto Kasper. […]

Kitchen Confidential: Spices on the Cheap

Lindsey here, sharing another round of my Notes from the Nutritionist: a series of kitchen tips we include in each Manna box to help families produce healthy, home-cooked meals. Now, raise your hand if this has ever been you: Spot drool-worthy food photo. Glance / scroll down to discover accompanying recipe. Vow you are going to attempt […]

The Simple Truth About Your Kitchen Cupboard

Lindsey here. After being snowed in at home for four straight days, making meals from every canned bean and frozen vegetable I could combine, I got to the grocery store yesterday. Even after the winter storm has settled, some grocery shelves are still emptier than usual.   Having a stocked kitchen cupboard is not only your […]

Listen Up: A New Year’s Challenge

Lindsey here. Despite all the responsibilities, I find the peace of being an adult some days is being alright with not having All The Answers. Nutrition research evolves constantly; scientific reports pop into the headlines about what not to eat this week, confusing the public.  The role of Manna’s Nutrition Educator implies a vast knowledge […]

How Did I Get So Lucky?

Lindsey here. This week, I visited our clients at one of Manna’s busiest distribution sites, Catholic Charities in Wheaton. After receiving food, about twenty people joined me for a community conversation and nutrition workshop inside Catholic Charities.   In my two years at Manna, I have led many workshops, conversed with many clients, listened to […]

CHOPPED: the votes are in, and they are delicious

Lindsey here, with some photos of what we’ve been up to. I hope you came hungry…    Last week, Manna’s Nutrition Team (Jenna & Lindsey) enjoyed a second annual friendly-competition of CHOPPED! at the Clarksburg Farmer’s Market. With crisp produce from Scenic View Orchards, Chef Charley and Team Manna went knife-to-knife for the grand prize: bragging […]