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Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank Charity Profile
MANNA, the Conejo Valley Food Bank, was started in 1971 by a few concerned citizens who decided to help their neighbors by gathering food items in one location for distribution. At that time there were many families affected by layoffs in the aerospace industry. As news of the good neighbor effort spread others became involved. Local businesses, churches, schools, youth groups and civic groups contributed to the cause and a deep relationship with the community was born.
In 1981, MANNA moved to its current location at 3020 Crescent Way in Thousand Oaks. At first, the house itself was rented out to a local family and the garage converted to a food pantry. By 1985 the house was paid for by the generosity of the community, and the first part-time professional administrator was hired.
MANNA exists solely because of the caring people of the Conejo Valley. MANNA accepts anything that would be purchased in a grocery store, from food to personal care items (no liquor or medicines). Produce is donated from local gardens and trees.
MANNA will help low-income families in the Conejo Valley (From Camarillo to Calabasas) who can show proof of residency. A simple application is filled out and applicants are qualified once a year. Volunteers then assist clients as they choose items from our shelves, ensuring they receive food they would buy.
With the ever-increasing needs of our clients, MANNA continues to grow and evolve to ensure our neighbors are treated with dignity and empowered to increase the quality of their life.
Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank Volunteer Information
Call the MANNA office to discuss the many volunteer opportunities at MANNA. We have several categories of volunteer jobs: 1. Short Term Volunteers – Volunteers of all ages will date check food donations, sort them, and put them on the shelves. These jobs require little training, do not require public contact and can be done at various times. Ideal candidates are youth who are meeting requirements for community service hours.
2. Fixed Time Volunteers – These volunteers escort clients through the pantry to receive food. We ask that these volunteers commit to a regular time each week for one or more hours. Of course, we make adjustments for volunteers who are on vacation or need to take time for other commitments. Potential volunteers are invited to get a tour of Manna and “shadow” another volunteer through the pantry to see if the job meets their expectations.
3. Collecting Donations – It’s amazing how easy it can be to collect food for Manna. Both of these methods are very effective.
One method is to place a paper shopping bag on porches in a neighborhood. A note will state the purpose and ask that donated items be placed in the bag and placed out on their porch for pickup at a specific date and time. You do not have to knock on doors or speak to residents.
The second method is to stand in front of a grocery store and hand shoppers a list of items they can donate. When they leave they can hand you an item or just walk past. We’ve seen an eight year old youth group collect a pickup load of donations in three hours.