The mission of Manna Café is to creatively and compassionately restore hope and dignity to the impoverished through the vehicles of food, shelter, and community. At Manna Café, we’ve been accused of “trying to feed as many people as much as we can.” To that, we say, “Guilty as charged.” In fact, we take Psalm 22:26 very seriously: “The poor shall eat and be [abundantly] satisfied.”
Manna Café tackles the very real threat of food insecurity in Montgomery County through three key avenues:
- The Food Box Distribution Program, by which we distribute grocery boxes (30+ lbs.) three times per week.
- Mobile Pantry, by which we distribute groceries (to 300+ families/individuals per event) at various locations. (More than 769,000 pounds of food were distributed in 2012 via these two programs.)
- Mobile Café, which consists of taking hot meals to various outdoor locations three times per week. (More than 27,400 hot meals were served in 2012 via Mobile Café.)
Nevertheless, Manna Café is about far more than food—it’s about restoring dignity. Even the word “Café” in our name is meant to allow people to hold up their heads up when they join us for a meal. Would you be more enthusiastic about going for a meal at a shelter, a mission—or a café? As we serve the people of our community, we’re striving to be more like Jesus. Scripture says that when we serve “the least of these,” we serve Him. Therefore, one of our key mottos is that at Manna Café, we desire to be Jesus to Jesus.
Manna Café also offers free pet spaying/neutering services (in partnership with MCFOTS), an on-site chaplain, and a free health clinic (in cooperation with Align MD) on Thursdays. In collaboration with the Parks and Rec Department, we provide free food during the twice-weekly, 8-week Summer Night Lights youth recreation program.
Here at Manna Café, we’re constantly looking for new ways to serve the people of our community, whether through food or other avenues. Among our long-range plans are establishing a homeless shelter and expanding our hot meal program. We’re just getting started. Who knows what God has in store? As Paul Harvey used to say, stay tuned for “the rest of the story.”