Reaching Out to Those in Need


Manna Soup Kitchen is Durango’s Local Organization to help those who don’t have enough to eat.

Chelsea Harris, Reporter

Those that serve at the La Plata Manna Soup Kitchen find joy in feeding the hungry. Many students have volunteered at Manna and have nothing but positive experiences. Whether they are helping serve or cook food, clean, or befriend, everyone gains something different and unique from their experience.

“The most meaningful thing to me is just being able to sit with people and listen to their stories. There are so many interesting people to talk to there. I would definitely recommend serving there to other students. I think it’s kind of intimidating to put yourself out there and help others, but I think it’s really worth it,” said Jr. Melissa Daigle.

As students discover more about those at the Soup Kitchen, they are able to connect more to the community and form friendships with the people they serve.

“I remember this little boy who just came up to me with this gigantic smile and said thank you and it just made my day. I just love being able to serve the community in a positive way,” said Jr. Aleashea Prescott.

Every person who comes to Manna has something valuable to share or teach, even if it’s just from a smile or words of gratitude.

“It’s really eye opening to see how truly blessed we are to have food of our own and helping those who may be a little less fortunate is an amazing experience,” said So. Audrey Chambers.

Students learn from the wonderful examples of gratitude from those that are served at the kitchen. Students  are also able to see what they have to give, even if it is just their time.

“I thought it was super cool to see people take part of their day away to help serve others and how people can come together and support each other,” said Sr. Rachel Gummow.

Not only have students learned but the Director of the soup kitchen, Kathy Tonnessen, has learned a lot as well.

“While being involved in Manna I have learned  that our clients are just normal people, just like the rest of us. The majority of our clients are just like you and I and have fallen on hard times,” Tonnessen said.

She also encouraged everybody to help out in the community and find the joy that comes from serving others.

“Young people can grow and benefit by helping out anywhere. It doesn’t have to be here at the Soup Kitchen, the point is for all of us to think outside of ourselves and to realize what other people and animals go through,” Tonnessen said.