Manna on Main Street in Lansdale has signed a lease for a new building, across the street and two blocks west of the one where it has spent most of its 30-plus years. About half of it was home to a mattress store that recently went out of business. Executive Director Tom Allebach says it has more than six times the space, and it will accommodate a commercial kitchen, which they have needed for a long time.
“That really broadens our capabilities to be able to teach people more about nutrition and have better meals, and have more volunteers involved with our work, and also with the added space we’ll have a dining room which is separate from the food pantry. Today one of the problems we face is everything is operated out of one space, so when we stop one thing another thing starts up.”
Allebach says about 600 households come to Manna for food to take home, and about 100 people eat meals there. He says renovating and furnishing the building and installing the kitchen will cost about $350,000, and they have about $206,000 in their building fund, so more fundraising is needed. Renovations have started, and they plan a March move-in.