About Manna Café Ministries and Kenny York
In 2004, Kenny York was a missionary in Nashville, TN who utilized his love for cooking by overseeing a weekly meal for the homeless and poor. In 2007, he scrawled the plan for Manna Café Ministries in a notebook. In 2008, he took the first steps toward launching Manna Café by taking donated bread and sweets—and soon after, hot meals—into a local homeless camp, along with friend Vicki, who is now his wife.
Manna Café was chartered as a non-profit in February 2009; fifteen months later, the Yorks relocated to Clarksville, TN, after area leaders expressed the need for such an organization. Three days later, the Flood of 2010 hit, and Kenny launched full speed into disaster relief via food distribution. A few days later, Manna Café served its first mobile, outdoor hot meal to 35 guests.
Since then, Manna Café has grown exponentially. One meal per week has become four, with peak attendance at 200+ people at a single meal. The Food Box Distribution Program (much like a large food pantry) grew from 200 food boxes in May 2010 to more than 25,000 boxes in 2014. In a single year, Manna Café distributes 1.8 million pounds of food to local families.
Food insecurity in Montgomery County involves more than 15% of the population (about 28,000 people). The percentage for children is 21.5%, a third of whom are not income-eligible for federal programs such as free school lunches. For this reason, our goal is to first meeting people’s basic need for food, and then guide them toward positive, permanent change.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Manna Café Ministries?
Manna Café Ministries serves people in need in Clarksville/Montgomery County through a soup kitchen on wheels, food box distribution, and other vital resources. Propelled chiefly by volunteers, Manna Café strives to restore hope, dignity, self-reliance, community, and the love of God through Jesus Christ. We believe that it is God’s will that “the poor will eat and be [abundantly] satisfied” (Ps. 22:26).
How much food does Manna Café give away to the community?
For the past five years, we have distributed over 1 million pounds of food. In 2018, we distributed 2 million pounds of food.
Why is it called the Manna Village?
They say that it takes a village to raise a child. The same is true for restoring someone’s life, especially if they’ve lost everything. No single person or agency can do it all. It takes a lot of people working together. Sometimes it takes a whole village. Many people we serve need multiple resources, especially when they’re trying to put their lives back together. But here’s the challenge: even when agencies are willing to work together, these people still have to find a way to get from one agency to the next. This means that the folks who have the fewest resources have to drive from agency to agency for help — if they’re lucky enough to have a car. If they don’t have a car, they might spend several hours walking or riding the bus to organizations where they may or may not get assistance. Manna Café is just one agency, and as much as we’d like to do everything, we can’t. We want a community of like-minded people and agencies who are committed to restoring the lives of those who need to get on their feet.
What type of new things will happen at the Manna Village?
The Manna Village will see many more growth opportunities, such as an expanded medical clinic operated by Dr. Standley of Dynamic Healing, a pre-diabetes health course, and more opportunities for programs such as Celebrate Recovery. The Manna Village will also see a shift to doing more ministry-based programs, where ministry and social-justice will be equal. This will include faith-based counseling alongside more caseworkers.
How many people are on Manna’s staff?
We currently operate with about 11 full-time staff members.
How many people does Manna Café serve?
Manna Café has seen tremendous growth from 2017 to 2018, and we hope to have growth from 2018 to 2019. In 2017, we distributed 20,090 food boxes, served 10,478 clients through food box distribution, and served 14,073 hot meals through our Mobile Café program. In 2018, we distributed 28,896 food boxes, served 14,256 clients through food box distribution, and served 23,493 hot meals.
What is the Manna Village?
The Manna Village will be the home of Manna Café’s main operations, such as food box distribution, storage, and office space. We will still go into the community to do our community-based programs, such as Mobile Cafés and Mobile Pantries.
Is the Manna Village a shelter?
The Manna Village will not be a shelter, but instead will be a village of organizations who strive to bring hope and dignity to the poor and homeless of Clarksville/Montgomery County. We will be able to open emergency warming centers in the winter, but not a permanent shelter.
How does Manna have money to operate?
Our funding comes from private donations, as well as grants. These grants are ear-marked for specific projects and programs, that help with some of our day-to-day operations, but not all of it. We are funded primarily through the generosity of private donors in our community.
Out of the money that Manna receives, how much goes towards people in need?
Manna Café Blog
Prove It Clarksville
Second Harvest Food Bank
Manna Café Ministries is a Partner Agency of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
Second Harvest is a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization with a mission to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community. Second Harvest works with a network of approximately 500 Partner Agencies like Manna Café Ministries to distribute food to those in need throughout 46 counties in Middle and West Tennessee. To learn more, visit secondharvestmidtn.org.
Help Support Manna Café
Your Support Matters! It’s the generosity of people like you that enables Manna Cafe to tackle the problem of hunger in our community! Visit our donate page to learn how you can be a part of impacting your community.
Manna Café Ministries
One of the best ways to keep up with what’s happening at Manna Cafe is through Facebook. Like our main page (Manna Cafe Ministries) for general updates and info or join our volunteer group page (Manna Cafe Volunteer Outreach) for updates as to where we need help in carrying out our mission each day.
If you have questions or comments, please fill out the form below and someone will contact you shortly!
1960-J Madison St. #312
Clarksville, TN 37043