Last updated March 30, 2020. We strongly encourage everyone to stay up to date with COVID-19 news and updates.

Q: What is Manna doing differently to prepare for COVID-19?

  • Manna’s facility will be open Monday through Thursday only, with staff working from home on Fridays. Emergency food boxes will still be available seven days a week, while the diaper pantry organized by Christ Child Society will move to Thursday mornings. The regular hours for Manna’s food pantry curbside service will not be affected.
  • Manna is no longer accepting food donations from the public, which includes suspending our Food Rescue program with area businesses.
  • Manna is currently making deliveries of “Food 4 Kids” backpacks to schools and preschool programs still able to get them into the hands of at-risk students.
  • Manna is limiting access to and time spent at our facility by:
    • Temporarily closing its client-choice food pantry, opting to distribute pre-assembled food boxes to clients with an assortment of self-stable and fresh foods. Food boxes are prepared with gloves and distributed outside of the facility to maintain at least a 6-foot distance between clients and volunteers.
    • Requiring partner agencies to place pre-orders for all food items, and limiting the number of agency representatives allowed during pickups.
    • Canceling all volunteer groups and regularly scheduled volunteer opportunities, relying on staff and few select volunteers for ongoing operations. At this time, additional volunteers are not needed.
  • All staff and volunteers are following protocols set in place by the State of Michigan and Feeding America, which includes remaining at least 6-feet apart from one another as much as possible.
  • Manna has implemented procedures to more frequently clean our facility, work areas, and vehicles, ensuring a safe space for all. We have hired a local cleaning service to sanitize our facility twice a day and assist us with this goal.

These new procedures will be in effect until further notice.

Q: Is the food pantry still going to be open?

Manna Community Food Pantry will be open and operating as a curbside service outside of the facility, distributing pre-assembled food boxes with a variety of shelf-stable, fresh, and frozen foods. This service is available to anyone in need:

  • Every Tuesday, 9 a.m. to noon
  • 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, 3 to 6 p.m.

Emergency food boxes will also be available seven days a week at Manna, during regular business hours or by calling (231) 347-8852.

Q: Who qualifies to get food from Manna?

Anyone who needs food is welcome to receive it from Manna Food Project. Proof of household income is not required to receive food assistance.

Q: How often can I get food from Manna?

While we normally recommend using our services once every other week, we realize that school closures, illness, and financial stress is putting a greater burden on families. So, when individuals and families need more food, they are welcome to return to Manna.

Q: Can I choose what comes in the food boxes?

At this time, clients will not be able to choose what food items they receive, unless there are special circumstances (e.g. allergies, homelessness). Be assured that the food we provide is of high quality, with both shelf-stable and fresh food items that will last several days.

Q: I’m not able to pick up the food myself. Can I have someone else do it for me?

Yes, you may have a friend, neighbor, or relative pick up food. They will need to provide the name of the client, the client’s address, the number and ages of the people in the household, and their own signature.

Q: Can you deliver to my residence?

Under special circumstances, Manna will deliver food boxes directly to residences within our immediate service area. Clients must live in Emmet county and meet the qualifications below:

  • Be homebound due to physical or other disability,
  • Not have the means to pick up food at our facility, or
  • Have exhausted all options for neighbors, friends, or family members to pick up food.

Q: Will Manna run out of food?

As a partner of the Feeding America National Food Bank Network, Manna will continue to have access to enough food to serve those in need. We are also sourcing food from local businesses and manufacturers. While this situation may seem frightening, we can assure you that Manna and its partner agencies in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet counties will have enough food for everyone in need of assistance.

Q: I want to volunteer. What can I do? What do you need?

We’ve received many calls from community members wanting to help. Here are some things you can do at this time:

  • Continue to provide your financial support. While food banks across the country are reporting lower donation rates, the need for emergency food is increasing due to school closures, illness, and financial stress.
  • Stay informed. For volunteer updates and ways to lend a hand, please sign up for our volunteer e-newsletter at Using this avenue for volunteer information will help keep our phone lines open for emergency food needs.
  • Keep yourself healthy. Wash your hands often and follow good hygiene practices to stop the spread of COVID-19, reducing the burden on our local health providers.

Q: Should I be worried? How do we stop the spread of this virus?

While this situation is serious, please stay calm and rational, and follow recommended ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses:

  • Stay home unless absolutely necessary. Until the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order has been lifted, all Michiganders must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in a solo outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water as frequently as possible. Hand sanitizers are also encouraged, though not as effective as washing hands for 20 or more seconds.
  • Turn away from others when sneezing or coughing, using disposable tissues. Use your elbow only if that is your only option.
  • Avoid touching your face. We touch our faces 90 times each day without realizing it!
  • Avoid handshaking and other contact with others. Remain 6 feet apart and follow “social distancing” guidelines.
  • Open doors with your closed fist or hip. This is especially important on bathroom and commercial doors.
  • Disinfect commonly-used surfaces thoroughly and frequently, using CDC-approved cleaning products.

We strongly encourage everyone to stay up to date with COVID-19 news and updates. For reliable and trustworthy information, please visit the State of Michigan’s website at or the federal website at

Jessyca Stoepker | Last updated March 30, 2020, 2:00 pm