boxes of hope


Manna Food Center is in the box-giving business.


No, not that type of box.

Certainly not that type of box!

THIS type of box.

More than 170 of them each day, in fact. Each is filled with a variety of foods to help Montgomery County families in need.

This isn’t just a bring-cans-in, pass-cans-out distribution center. The organization exists to “mobilize the community to keep people well-fed,” said Jackie DeCarlo, Manna’s executive director.

Manna works directly with grocery stores, bakeries and other suppliers to take the food they can’t sell and put it to good use. Other donations come from all over the county: Girl Scout troops, synagogues and individuals dropping off a few items they picked up on their last grocery run. It’s truly a combined effort.

They also take the idea of being “well-fed” very seriously. Manna employs nutritionists and educators to work directly with the people they’re serving. While waiting in line, clients can watch a flat screen TV showing healthy recipes and tips on eating better. The boxes themselves are prepared with a balanced, holistic diet in mind. Manna’s partnerships with local farms and retailers gives them the chance to provide fresh produce, as well as the standard non-perishable fare.

About the Author: Jarrod Jabre is a theatre artist, educator, writer, theologian, and beer & wine specialist. He currently resides in Silver Spring with his fiancee, Bethany, and cat, Toby. In his free time, he likes to joke about having free time.