About Our Program

The Manna Culinary Program was established in 2014 as a way to help participants gain the necessary skills to secure a job in the food service industry. Chef Heather Hinsley offers a 10-week course with teachings by guest chefs from the local community. Partnerships with regional resources offer services with weekly classroom presentations. The program is open to the community and Manna clients. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Certificate of Completion and a two-year state recognized Food Handlers Certificate. By combining cooking skills and baking skills obtained in our commercial kitchen, as well as life skills taught in our classroom, graduates are taking positive steps toward independence. To learn more, contact Chef Heather at manager@mannaculinary.com.

Jumpstart Your Career With Us

Become a Student

Our classes are small – only 8 students per class – so that we can offer the personal attention needed to help you achieve success. There are two classes each year, fall and spring. Scholarships and payment plans are available. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with local chefs and take part in exciting catering events. Contact us today to learn more about the Manna Culinary Program.

Sponsor a Student

One of Manna’s long-term goals is to help those we serve gain greater self-sufficiency. The majority of our students need assistance in paying their tuition costs. Consider sponsoring a culinary student so that they may gain the skills necessary to enter the food industry. Together, we can prepare students for the workforce and build a stronger, more vibrant economy. Tuition for one semester is $1,000, but sponsorships of any amount are welcome and appreciated.

Hire a Graduate

Did you know that Manna’s staff chefs and culinary students offer catering? Call us to chat about your next event and let’s talk food. We also sell our signature chocolate chip cookies and can deliver them to your establishment. Even more, we have a several meeting spaces available for rent, equipped with food prepared by our staff and students. Schedule your next meeting with us in our beautiful culinary facility.

Changing Lives One Student at a Time

During his intake interview with Chef Heather, Tyler shared stories about his extremely strict upbringing and experiencing intermittent, chronic homelessness beginning at the age of 13. Shortly after his 18th birthday, he enrolled in the Manna Culinary Program with a passionate attitude and a desire to succeed. With the help of supportive volunteers and the staff at Manna, he completed the 10-week session with perfect attendance. In addition to excelling in the teaching kitchen, he also volunteered in the soup kitchen on a regular basis to sharpen his skills whenever possible.

To quote Tyler, “Patience is key, as is being strict.” Tyler is overcoming the odds and, through resiliency, is gaining more and more independence each day. Shortly after completing the Manna Culinary Program, he secured a cook position at one of the largest restaurants in Durango. He was promoted to a shift lead position soon thereafter. We rarely see him at Manna anymore, which we see as an amazing outcome.

If you’d like to create your own success story, register today or give us a call to learn more. Bon appétit!

Growing Opportunities. Feeding Community.