Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance

A nonprofit organization

2 donors

Formed in 1990, MANNA began with daily volunteer deliveries to patients with HIV/AIDS throughout Center City of food donated by local restaurants. As understanding of HIV increased, our mission expanded to encompass nutrition education and counseling. In 2006, MANNA decided to expand eligibility for nutritional services to people at risk from other life threatening illnesses. In 2008, MANNA began providing all meal clients with 21 nourishing meals with each weekly delivery. Today, MANNA prepares and delivers delicious nourishing meals, provides helpful nutrition education and empowers our clients to battle their illness and improve their quality of life. In 2012 MANNA was able to help over 2,100 neighbors battling a life-threatening illness in nine counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

MANNA is the only agency in the Philadelphia region providing medically appropriate meals to people at acute risk from life-threatening illnesses. Medically appropriate meals differ from meals offered by standard hunger organizations because menus are developed by a staff of Registered Dietitians (RDs) according to dietary recommendations. Clients are evaluated by RDs and placed on either our basic heart-healthy meal or one of the 11 diet modification options created to address the needs of each client. MANNA has commitment to quality health services which is why we invest in staffing our nutrition department with RD’s who are more rigorously trained than nutritionists and invest in insuring all of our chefs are Serve Safe Certified. MANNA is the only organization in the country offering medically appropriate meals three meals a day, seven days a week. Deliveries include fresh fruit, side salads, snacks, milk, a bread basket and desserts.

An integral component of MANNA’s mission is volunteerism. Our volunteer corps of more than 1,500 volunteers per month comprises 97% of our workforce and provides an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 hours of uncompensated service annually.

MANNA has always believed that the service we provide makes a difference in our community. In 2012, we completed a study which provides statistical evidence that critically ill, nutritionally at-risk people served by MANNA incur lower health care costs and have shorter hospital stays.

Our services reach a particularly vulnerable population because they fall into a low to poverty income level and also face serious medical issues for which the cost of care can be considerable. Many of our clients also have the added burdens of low health literacy, barriers to accessing care and comorbid conditions of depression and anxiety. According to the Commonwealth Fund’s analysis of the supplemental poverty measure report released by the US Census Bureau in 2010, an additional 10 million people would be considered to be living in poverty if we accounted for medical expenses. That’s two million children, five million adults and three million seniors who are being pushed into poverty by their medical costs. 

But it comes down to more than costs—food is a basic need. When MANNA provides meals for our patients and their dependents, we help free the patient to focus on the task of getting better while providing the best fuel to do so. Food is also symbolic of social relationships in our culture. When a person experiences chronic or acute life threatening illness, he or she may find their sense of self, familial and social role and ability to perform daily activities suddenly and profoundly altered. More than a simple meal, MANNA offers connection, engagement and interaction during this disruption of self.  We provide nourishment for our sick neighbors and a sense of community at a time of need.

“Thank you for your assistance...I can never express our gratitude. It means so very much to have the “MANNA” meals knowing that they are prepared with love and care. It is very difficult to be sick but the meals are so appealing it has actually increased the appetite.” -A MANNA client

Organization Data


Organization name

Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance

Tax id (EIN)



420 N 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103