Hands On Hartford

MANNA Food and Neighborhood Services

Our pantry provides a variety of produce, some is grown on-site.

Our MANNA food programs provide basic needs to thousands of individuals in Hartford each month. Through the Community Meals Day Program, Community Pantry & Neighborhood Services, and Backpack Nutrition Program, we provide food and other supportive services to those in need.

Day Program Services

Our Day Program operates in close conjunction with and sharing space with Gather55.  In addition to breakfast and lunch through Gather55, a free dinner is served Mondays from 5:30-6:30pm. Resource and referral services, assistance in obtaining benefits, connection to shelter and housing, help in obtaining IDs are available. Student nurses provide health screenings twice per week.  Hartford HealthCare runs an onsite walk-in clinic two Wednesdays each month. When items are available, guests also have access to toiletries, reading glasses, socks, and winter accessories.  We also head up the Greater Hartford Outreach Team (a collaboration among Hands On Hartford, Wheeler Clinic, Connecticut Harm Reduction Alliance and Journey Home) which connects folks who are homeless and living outdoors to resources and shelter with the ultimate goals of helping them move into permanent housing.

Community Pantry

Our pantry is a full service shopping model food pantry, allowing clients to choose food that will suit their families’ needs and tastes, minimizing food waste and maximizing nutritional value. Groceries include non-perishable staples, along with bread, milk, eggs, fresh produce and frozen meat.  We also offer Halal meat through the pantry, so that we can assist those who keep a Halal diet.

Neighborhood Services

We offer referrals, security deposit, utility, and rental assistance, medical and dental resources, training and employment opportunity assistance, nutrition education and health screenings. We are also an Operation Fuel bank site when funds are available.  This is essential homelessness prevention work, providing the help needed to ensure folks can remain safely, affordably and stably housed.

Backpack Nutrition Program

Many kids in Hartford receive free lunch throughout the week at school, but struggle to find enough food to eat on the weekends. Through our Backpack Nutrition Program, backpacks containing four meals, drinks and snacks are distributed to children each Friday during the school year, plus weekly enhancements such as fresh fruit, nutrition resource information and school supplies. We currently serve over 225 children at 8 local schools in the city.

To learn more, to volunteer, or to support these programs, please contact Jonathan Mitchell, Director of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Programs at 860.706.1527 or jmitchell@handsonhartford.org.