MANNA gets help so it can keep giving

June 9, 2008 8:46:27 PM PDT
One million meals. That's what the new and improved kitchen at MANNA will have the ability to produce. Diplomats helped the non-profit celebrate its facility's re-opening today.

In the spring swelter Mayor Nutter and others celebrated the refurbished kitchen at MANNA. Now even more people, laid low by illnesses like AIDS and cancer, can count on the Center City non-profit for healthy meals.

Richard Keaveney, CEO of MANNA tells Action News, "Manna provides nourishment for well over 850 individuals right now in and around Philadelphia. And soon we'll probably be serving about 1500 people, 3 meals a day, 7 days a week."

The space isn't expanded, but redesigned and upgraded. Many appliances -stoves, soup vats, and ice machines - are new and energy efficient. And many have upped MANNA's production capacity, like the new dough mixer that makes twice the nutrient-rich MANNA muffins.

Dirty water is no longer carted out in buckets, but goes down new floor drains. It's a sanitation improvement, along with multiple hand washing sinks and a new dishwashing station, meant to protect patients fragile immune systems.

Before MANNA had just one freezer. Now they have three new ones and that means a significant increase in the amount of produce and prepared meals their able to store and share with people in need.

Michelle Mannino says for over a year, MANNA meals have sustained her family as she fights pancreatic cancer.

"I believe that without them I wouldn't be standing in front of you today," said Mannino.

Now even more people will still be standing because MANNA can make sure they don't stand alone.