The MANNA Institute launches in Philadelphia, a City of Firsts

Thursday, March 21, 2019 General News
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PHILADELPHIA, March 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- This National Nutrition Month, MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition

Alliance) is proud to announce the launch of The MANNA Institute, a new division of MANNA for research and evaluation initiatives that explore the impact of nutrition on health. As MANNA continues providing comprehensive nutrition services to people
facing serious illnesses, this new initiative focuses on research and evaluation, education and dissemination of our findings so that MANNA can transform the way one thinks about healthcare.

Philadelphia is a city of firsts in health – from the first hospital to the first college of pharmacy, from the first children's hospital to the first eye care hospital. MANNA was first in Philadelphia to deliver nutritious meals to homebound individuals battling HIV/AIDS, and three decades later is honored to join the ranks of these national leaders with the first research institute of this kind. MANNA looks forward to producing actionable research leading to increased access to services and policy change on a local and national level, enabling medically tailored meals to reach those who need them most.

"MANNA has long been a thought leader in the food as medicine movement, and we're proud that our existing research has reached decision makers," said MANNA CEO Sue Daugherty, RD, LDN. "The MANNA Institute is both a logical and exciting next step that will allow us to do critical research to provide the best possible services to our clients and food as medicine for all."

Dr. Jule Anne Henstenburg, PhD, RD, LDN, FAND will lead The MANNA Institute as MANNA's first ever Director of Research and Evaluation. Dr. Henstenburg is a health policy researcher, Registered Dietitian, and a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Dr. Henstenburg is currently State Policy Representative and co-chair of the Licensure Task Force for the Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She joined the MANNA staff in July 2018.

"As a college professor, I continually used the example of MANNA as being at the forefront of community-based healthcare interventions for prescribed food and nutrition counseling used for medical management of nutrition-related diseases," says Dr. Henstenberg. "The advent of value-based healthcare requires that we measure the effectiveness of MANNA's program in regard to health outcomes. Once again, with the MANNA Institute, MANNA is at the forefront."

The MANNA Institute is already being met with accolades from local partners.

"Ensuring access to healthy, nutritious food for all Americans, especially those with serious illnesses is a noble endeavor and I applaud MANNA on its efforts to help improve the region," said Senator Bob Casey. "I look forward to the launch of the MANNA Institute and am hopeful that we can work together to achieve policy outcomes that will make a healthier society."

The MANNA Institute is made possible thanks to generous support from The Founding Eight: John Alchin; Kevin R. Boyle; Dr. Lynn Garvin Dever; Sue Daugherty; Julia Fleischner; Steven H. Korman; Linda Richardson; and Allan Schimmel.

The MANNA Institute will officially launch on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at a special ceremony that will include Congressman Dwight Evans, City Representative Sheila Hess, and other key stakeholders. Following the ceremony, the Institute will host a panel discussion. The official announcement will kick off at 2pm, with remarks and the panel discussion to follow.

For more details, contact Laura Payne at or 215-496-2662 x 115.


MANNA uses nutrition to improve health for people with serious illnesses who need nourishment to heal. By providing medically tailored meals and nutrition education, we empower people to improve their health and quality of life. A small professional staff and 6,500 dedicated volunteers bring more than 95,000 nutritious, home-delivered meals each month to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses. MANNA dietitians promote wellness through nutrition education and counseling. Through these services, MANNA provides opportunities for caring people to extend loving support to families, friends, and neighbors. MANNA is spelled in all capital letters.


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