David Chang

MANNA Seeks Donations After DHS Cuts Funding to Children's Meal Program

A Philadelphia-based non-profit organization that provides free food to people dealing with life-threatening illnesses is seeking donations from the public after funding for their Children’s Meal Program was cut.

MANNA announced Wednesday the Philadelphia Department of Human Services eliminated its funding to their Children’s Meal Program leading to a loss of $350,000. Sue Daugherty, the CEO of MANNA, told NBC10 the group discussed the funding cut with DHS back in April and were prepared for the decision.

“The DHS is moving money from preventative services to more direct services at this time,” Daugherty said.

A Philadelphia DHS spokeswoman also confirmed they cut funding and sent the following statement to NBC10:

"Due to unprecedented growth of the number of children and families in our system, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is engaged in a strategic effort to reduce both the number of children in foster care and the number of families receiving formal in home services. This has required us to realign our prevention services in an effort to divert children from placement and keep them in their own communities. It became necessary to refocus our prevention investment to target families and children most at risk of abuse and neglect. Additionally, we need to be able to invest our money to help families already in the system exit safely and expeditiously.

In light of this, we had to make some extremely difficult decisions to cut some of our preventative programs....including Manna.  Manna has been a valued community provider performing an extremely important service; that is why we have offered to work with them to ensure that the clients they were serving through our contract receive case management or other support services if needed.  We also offered to see if other City programs may be able to assist these families. If funding becomes available, we hope to work with Manna in the future."

MANNA is a non-profit organization that cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals and provides nutrition counseling to people who are battling life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The group, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last fall, is asking the public to donate in order to help them deal with the loss. CLICK HERE if you would like to make a donation.

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