Takoma Park nonprofit promotes healthy eating and organic enterprise

  • Published in Local

With a $20,000 grant from the City of Takoma Park, the Crossroads Community Network aims to expand healthy food access for the city’s residents.

“This year we were up yet another 19.6 percent in sales … it shows our growth and sustainability as we become less dependent on federal nutrition benefits sales for our success which was the case in earlier years,” said Michelle Dudely, the Farmers Market and Healthy Eating manager of the organization, while giving an update on their progress to the City Council Wednesday evening.

“I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate … you bring together not only healthy eating classes but also recognize and embrace the cultural diversity that exists in the crossroads area and bring it to life,” said Council member Talisha Searcy (Ward 6).


Manna comes from Heaven and “Manny” from a mobile

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Manny with LogosManna Food Center staff proudly show off their converted school bus dubbed "Manny." COURTESY PHOTO  A white, aging school bus covered in drawings of fruits and vegetables is coming to schools, community and senior centers, subsidized housing complexes, and fairs near you.

Inside the bus, named “Manny,” is a mobile kitchen and pop-up pantry that will be used to teach people of all ages how to eat and cook healthy foods on a budget. It is operated by Manna, a non-profit organization that strives to end food insecurity and hunger in Montgomery County.

The converted school bus will mainly be stopping at targeted areas, where food insecurity is the highest, she said.

Manna’s 20 priority areas include neighborhoods in Germantown, East County and Long Branch.

DeCarlo said the skills taught inside Manny are important, because 70 percent of County adults do not eat the recommended number of daily vegetable servings.

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