Hands On Hartford

MANNA Food and Neighborhood Services and Day Program

Hands On Hartford provides basic needs to thousands of individuals in Hartford each month with an overall goal of improving housing stability and addressing the social determinants of health. Through Gather55, our Day Program, the MANNA Community Pantry, our Neighborhood Services Program, and Backpack Nutrition Program, we provide food and other supportive services to those in need.  More information about Gather55, our restaurant open to all regardless of ability to pay, is available on the Gather55 Website.

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, 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.

MANNA 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.  Non-perishable food is shelved according to the SWAP (Supporting Wellness At Pantries) system, identifying foods that are higher/lower in salt, sugar and saturated fat. Our pantry is also halal friendly, offering halal meat and labeling non-perishable foods that are not halal.

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 or to support these programs, please contact Donna Colliton, dcolliton@handsonhartford.org. To volunteer, learn more here.

Non-Discrimination Statement  Hands On Hartford services are provided without discrimination based on age, race, ancestry, religious creed, color, sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment), genetic information, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, mental disability (past and present), national origin, intellectual impairment, learning disability or physical disability, including but not limited to blindness, criminal record, veteran status.   Hands On Hartford also adheres to USDA non-discrimination standards which can be viewed HERE.