Announcing Main Course 2023 Chef Chairs: Omar Tate & Cybille St. Aude-Tate of Honeysuckle Provisions! 

MANNA is excited to announce the passing on of the Main Course Chef Chair torch from Eli Kulp and Jen Carroll (Chef Chairs, Main Course 2022) to Omar Tate and Cybille St. Aude-Tate of Honeysuckle Provisions! We are honored to be partnering with Chefs Omar and Cybille to bring you an unforgettable night of fine dining at the Main Course 2023 on Thursday, 9/21 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm at Vie by Cescaphe. With their guidance and chefpertise, we’ve secured a show-stopping lineup of Philadelphia’s greatest chefs for this year’s Main Course, many of whom happen to be James Beard Award winners and nominees! To kick off this year’s Main Course blog series, the MANNA staff stopped by Honeysuckle Provisions in West Philly to catch up with our chef chairs and, of course, dine on some of their favorite offerings. Read ahead for an interview with Chef Cybille St. Aude-Tate:

MANNA is excited to announce the passing on of the Main Course Chef Chair torch from Eli Kulp and Jen Carroll (Chef Chairs, Main Course 2022) to Omar Tate and Cybille St. Aude-Tate of Honeysuckle Provisions! We are honored to be partnering with Chefs Omar and Cybille to bring you an unforgettable night of fine dining at the Main Course 2023 on Thursday, 9/21 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm at Vie by Cescaphe. With their guidance and chefpertise, we’ve secured a show-stopping lineup of Philadelphia’s greatest chefs for this year’s Main Course, many of whom happen to be James Beard Award winners and nominees! To kick off this year’s Main Course blog series, the MANNA staff stopped by Honeysuckle Provisions in West Philly to catch up with our chef chairs and, of course, dine on some of their favorite offerings. Read ahead for an interview with Chef Cybille St. Aude-Tate:

Q: Tell us about Honeysuckle Provisions.  

A: Honeysuckle Provisions is an Afrocentric grocery and café located in West Philly. Opened last October, our main focus is to provide our West Philly neighbors with locally sourced good food, produced by black farmers in the local tri-state area. Omar and I are keen on giving folks an education of black food ways while offering good and tasty food in their area.

Q: What do you believe is the best bite in Philly?  

A: Can it be our own food? Our turnip hoagie is grown locally- the turnips come from the Bartee Family Farm in South Jersey. The turnips are really special- we smoke and ferment them and then thinly slice so they replicate a soft turkey deli slice. We also make the bread! It’s a great vegan option if you take the cheese off, and a great alternative to a traditional Philly hoagie.

Q: What food automatically makes you feel better or puts you in a good mood?

A: Comfort food. Omar would likely say fish and grits. Mine would be a hearty crab stew that makes you feel whole inside. Typically, those are the dishes that take all day to make, which means you spent a lot of time nourishing that dish and making it for loved ones.

Q: What drew you to get involved with MANNA?  

A: When we started thinking about what Honeysuckle should be, we looked into MANNA as a case study of a successful organization feeding a lot of people — and doing it with intention. When we first toured the kitchen, we were really inspired because oftentimes people with dietary restrictions aren’t being catered to locally, nor do they have access to resources. Food should be nourishing and should be medicine.

Q: What is your favorite part of MANNA? 

A: Stepping into the kitchen and seeing how professional the operations are. [The MANNA kitchen] is a well-oiled machine, similar to corporate catering. Feeding people should be done with the same standard and regard. MANNA’s state of the art equipment and severe attention to detail shows how much care and concern goes into how food is being prepared for our critically ill neighbors.

Q: What role do you believe food plays in the community? 

A: Food has an opportunity to educate folks about history. It’s an opportunity to connect with people and is a great example of how we aren’t so different after all. Dishes may be called something different, but you see the same concepts all throughout the world.

Q: Why should people attend the Main Course? 

A: Aside from being able to participate and lend aid to a great organization, you get to try food from the best chefs in the city. Many of these restaurants have reservations that are packed out, or we have chefs who don’t do this type of thing too often. We are really bringing together a community of great talent.

Q: Out of all the other participating chefs, whose food/dish are you most excited to try?

A: Tabachoy! We haven’t been yet and I’m so excited to try Chance’s food. I love Filipino food and the moment it’s having.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event? 

A: The Auction! I can’t wait to see what cool things and experiences are being auctioned off this year!

Speaking of that amazing lineup—stayed tuned over the next 10 weeks as we interview the following participating chefs/restaurants in the countdown to the Main Course 2023:

Tickets and sponsorship packages available here

Questions about tickets or sponsorship? Email Helen Kilmartin, Events Coordinator, at

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Meet James Ihde

James Ihde


23rd year performing in Shut Up & Dance

25th year attending Shut Up & Dance

Photograph © Vikki Sloviter


Funny Memory 

We did a piece, maybe six or seven years ago, that Brian Sanders choreographed and Tara Keating performed. She was in this big, plastic blow up ball, and I was on stage behind her holding the ball so it wouldn’t move. She was supposed to do a solo in it, cut her way out of it, and then dance again.

She was in there, and it came time to get out, and she couldn’t get out! She was cutting the ball spastically and fighting her way out… and at the last second made it!  After she got out she did her thing, and everything was okay. But I’d say that’s something that doesn’t happen everywhere!

Needless to say, they performed that idea that night and never did it again.”



“Motivation [for the dancers] comes from wanting to help out and contribute, as well as people who really want an opportunity to choreograph on their friends and dancers they really admire. Maybe they get the opportunity to do a solo or something they might not have done otherwise.

People do humorous pieces as well, things that are really far off the beaten path that they might not get a chance to do any other time!”



“Shut Up & Dance was very small the first couple years, not raising much money. A very small, homegrown event. Then, for years it was strictly dancers of the Pennsylvania Ballet, choreographing on each other, maybe bringing back old pieces. And then over the years it developed into bringing on other local dancers, other choreographers, special guests, and bands.

So that side of the crew has evolved and the sheer size of the show has quintupled.

After the show you see how much money you raised and what a great cause it is and how much that money actually helps real, every day people in such a practical way. It’s a great thing for us to be involved in.”

National Diabetes Month

During November, we hope to raise awareness about diabetes among Americans. The American Diabetes Association​® (ADA) has chosen the theme of “Eat Well, America!” Both MANNA and The ADA aim to spread awareness about how easy and delicious it can be to prepare healthy meals. More than 30 million adults and children are impacted by diabetes in the United States and nearly 86 million children and adults are either pre-diabetic or at risk for prediabetes. Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and blindness among middle aged adults? Diabetes is a serious disease and it has been estimated to have cost America $245 billion dollars in healthcare costs.

At MANNA, we are committed to improving the lives of our clients living with diabetes and encouraging prevention. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in managing the disease but also in preventing it. We will be sharing helpful information and tips about the disease all month via MANNA’s social media channels using the hashtag #‎ADM. You can join the conversation by sharing or retweeting the posts all month. To further commemorate this month of awareness, we encourage those impacted by the disease to come in for a nutrition counseling session. Our Nutrition Department of Registered Dietitians can help you to prevent or properly manage diabetes. To set up an appointment, please call 215-496-2662 x 5. Together, we can make a stand against diabetes!





Honoring Steve Korman at the 25th Celebration

Steve became involved with MANNA more than 15 years ago after recovering from a painful virus of the mouth. The pain made it impossible to eat or drink and Steve lost weight quickly. His agony and frustration mounted as no one could diagnose his problem or provide a solution, even after multiple medical appointments. Then a dentist and friend of the family heard about Steve’s symptoms. He immediately knew exactly what was wrong and prescribed a medication that quickly healed Steve, allowing him to return to a healthy weight.

When Steve tells this story, he says he bargained with God during that painful week, vowing to do more good if he got better. Steve lived up to that bargain and showed up here at MANNA the very next week with a generous contribution. MANNA focused solely on helping people with HIV/AIDS back then, and Steve knew that people dying from AIDS had many complications, including difficulty eating. Now, 15 years later, Steve and his family are an integral part of MANNA: we are the Steven Korman Nutrition Center and Steve is the Chair of our Advisory Board.


Steve is the Founder of Korman Communities, Inc. He has spent the past 50 years in the real estate industry specializing in revolutionizing the multi-family sector. Steve is also a Partner of The Korman Co. of Trevose, PA, one of the largest owners and managers of residential, commercial, and industrial real estate in The Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. Steve has been responsible for all aspects of the multi-family portfolio over this time, developing and marketing the KormanSuites brand name throughout the region.

Mr. Korman is active in charitable and community affairs, having served on the Board of Trustees of Drexel University, the Bannett Transplant Institute, and the Multi-family Housing Council. He was president of The Technion Institute and was Co-Chairman of the American Poetry Review. Mr. Korman was Chairman of the Duke University Library Advisory Board for 8 years and Chairman of PhilaPride. Mr Korman has been Chairman of the Advisory Board of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Temple University for the past 12 years. Mr. Korman has been Chairman of the Advisory Board for MANNA for the past 10 years and was past vice President of the Board for JYC. Mr. Korman is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Pennsylvania and New York.

MANNA would not be the organization we are today without Steve and his generosity. He is truly passionate about our work and enthusiastically gives his time, expertise, and funds to ensure that more and more sick people have access to food as medicine! We are proud to celebrate and honor Steve Korman throughout MANNA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration.



American Heart Month is here

Did you know that February is American Heart Month?  The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and educating the population on ways to prevent it. Unfortunately, heart disease continues to be one of the leading causes of death in America prematurely ending the lives of 1 in 4 people.  Although there are many risk factors, a healthy diet and exercise continues to be the best defense.


This infographic was created by The American Recall Center. Learn more here.

At MANNA we make every effort to ensure that our meals are heart healthy, following the nutrition guidelines of the American Heart Association. In each meal delivery, we send our clients fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Our soups are made with low sodium stocks and they are flavored with spices, like garlic and sage, to ensure that they are heart healthy and flavorful.  In addition, to help our clients control their cholesterol levels, we limit red meat in our meals to once per week and we send low-fat dairy alternatives.

All of the MANNA clients are following a heart healthy diet, below are some tips from our Registered Dietitian on how you can do the same!

Heart Healthy Tips provided by Alura Costa, RD at MANNA

  • Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy into your diet daily. Think green!
  • Be careful with canned soups which contain a lot of sodium. Purchase a low sodium soup option or make your own soup utilizing low sodium broth instead. Try adding different types of whole grains like barley or quinoa…yum!
  • Use spices and flavorful herbs to season foods. Utilizing salt alternatives are key to reducing sodium intake. Basil and cayenne are some of my favorites! MORE
  • When using canned vegetables, make sure to rinse any excess sodium off by running the vegetables under cold water. This trick is simple and helpful.
  • Opt for sauce on the side when dining out. Sauces at restaurants are usually high in sodium. Also, some restaurants indicate which meals are low in sodium by placing a small heart icon next to menu items.

Take Action

  • Go red! Celebrate National Wear Red Day with MANNA and help raise awareness about women and heart disease on February 6th. More:
  • Share American Heart Month Tweets via your twitter account.
  • Get screened and encourage others to do the same with this e-card generated by Health Finder.
  • Make a vow to cook more heart healthy meals – recipes.

January is National Soup Month

The blustery cold month of January is upon us. What better time than now to sit down to a hot, delicious bowl of soup to help warm you up!  Soups are a great option nutritionally, they provide us with lots of important nutrients including vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories. Soup can be a simple addition to any meal and a great way to make sure that you and your family get the essential servings of whole grains, vegetables and protein in one bowl.

Although some canned soups can be healthy, they are often very high in sodium which can cause an increase in blood pressure and leads to a higher risk of developing heart disease. Sticking to low sodium, broth based canned soups would be the healthier way to go but preparing homemade soups can provide many more health benefits.


Preparing your own homemade soups allows you to control the nutritional value by adding plenty of vegetables, whole grains, healthy protein and herbs which naturally flavors your soup and allows you to skip the extra sodium.  The winter months bring us a whole new variety of vegetables to choose from including cabbage, kale, leeks, mushrooms, turnips and winter squash.  Squash is packed with tons of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. Adding lean meat like chicken or turkey will make the soup more filling while increasing the protein content. Making sure to use a low sodium beef, chicken or vegetable broth rather than one that is cream based will ensure the soup has less salt and fat.

Other benefits in cooking homemade soup is that it tends to be much more cost efficient. Preparing a large batch of soup will allow you to have leftover which you can freeze for a later time. Making homemade soups is a great way to keep warm and stay healthy throughout the winter months.


If you are crunched for time this winter season, why not purchase a delicious, homemade soup from MANNA? Starting Thursday, January 1st, we kick off our annual SOUPer Bowl fundraising event.  Choose from 3 delectable soup flavors including Hearty Chicken Noodle, MANNA Minestrone and Creamy Corn Chowder.  By purchasing our homemade soups you not only nourish yourself, but you support us in nourishing our MANNA clients. For more infomation, go to


A recipe to try:

Healthy Butternut Squash Soup






1 butternut squash

1 yellow onion

32 oz. chicken (or vegetable) broth

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 450 F.

Peel, de-seed, and dice the squash into roughly 1-inch cubes (doesn’t need to be perfect).

Peel and dice the onion into roughly 1-inch pieces.

Place the squash and onion onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes until squash is lightly golden and fork-tender.

In a large pot, bring the broth to a simmer. Add the roasted veggies. Puree using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. (If using a regular blender or food processor, work in batches so that your container isn’t full to the brim, and be careful not to burn yourself). Finish with a drizzle of EVOO or spoonful of plain yogurt if you’d like, and enjoy! MORE



Healthy Holiday Eating

Do you teeter between counting down the days until your holiday feast and dreading the seemingly inevitable food coma to follow? It can be tough to practice moderation around the holidays and many people pay for holiday indulgences by carrying around extra pounds.  Try to keep a couple of tips in mind to curb your holiday hunger while allowing yourself to enjoy all the favorites.

Beat the Beverages

Many people only think about calories when it comes to food.  Beverages can be very calorie-dense as well and often offer little nutritional value.  Some holiday drinks are full of hidden sugar, fat and calories.  Here are a couple ways to cut back:


Try mixing ½ a glass of skim or low-fat milk with ½ a glass of eggnog

Passing on the alcohol also means passing on extra calories

Hot Chocolate

Opt for low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk.

Pass on the whipped cream or keep it to 1 tablespoon or less

Apple Cider

Check for added sugars—make sure you’re drinking 100% juice



Know Your Meal

This doesn’t just mean know the dish, but know the ingredients.  Being aware of common sources of fat, sodium, and extra calories can help you make the best choices at the holiday table.

Be aware of Sodium

Many holiday favorites like breads, rolls, canned stocks, soups, and sauces are very high in sodium. Use herbs and spices like rosemary and cloves instead of salt and butter. When you can, choose to use fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned—these have added sodium too.

When it comes to turkey…

Choose lighter pieces of meat, as they have fewer calories than dark meat.

Remove the skin from your meat.

Remember portions—a serving of meat is 3 oz. or about the size of a deck of cards

Gravy is dangerous when it comes to fat, calories, and sodium.  If you choose to use some, keep it to 1 tablespoon and use it for turkey only.

Don’t Destroy Dessert

When it comes to sweet treats, try to sample rather than making a second meal out of pie and cookies.  These treats are sure to be packed with sugar and fat and that’s after the meal! Consider sharing a serving with a buddy or asking for a smaller slice.

Healthy Eating Starts with Healthier Cooking

Try some tricky culinary maneuvers to reduce the fat, sugar, and sodium in your holiday dishes.  Your guests will never notice, but they sure will thank you later!

When baking…

Try substituting ½ the butter for applesauce.

Use low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk or heavy cream

Substitute ½ the white flour for whole wheat

When cooking, opt for vegetable oils instead of butter

Use whole-grain breads, pastas and stuffing instead of white

Compare labels to make lower-sodium choices

Use spices to ease up on salt and sugar. Consider things like cinnamon, cloves, vanilla; rosemary, thyme, garlic.

Finally—Remember to stay active

Go for a walk.  Try sledding again.  Ice skate…tis the season!



Thanksgiving at MANNA is truly the best day of the year. The MANNA community comes together to provide a decadent, yet traditional Thanksgiving meal to clients and their families. Everything from a turkey with all the trimmings to a delicious home-baked pie, the MANNA community supplies and delivers these loving meals free of charge! Nourishing our neighbors is what it is all about on Thanksgiving here at MANNA.

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Our staff will open the MANNA kitchen promptly at 5:30am to begin the day. The kitchen will be filled with 100 volunteers cooking, baking and packaging over 1,800 homemade Thanksgiving meals. 150 volunteer drivers will line up on Ranstead Street to deliver to 450 different MANNA clients and their families. MANNA looks forward to Mayor Nutter, along with other dignitaries, contributing to the volunteer efforts on this busy, yet gratifying day. We are thrilled to have District Attorney, Seth Williams volunteering in the kitchen again. It’s important to us that our clients celebrate this special holiday and have something for which to truly give thanks.

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Thanksgiving Day could not happen without our devoted volunteer force.

Our Thanksgiving Day sponsor, PECO is graciously underwriting the cost of the Thanksgiving meals. “MANNA is an incredible organization that provides a critical service to our community. As a PECO employee and member of their board for more than five years, I couldn’t be more proud of what PECO does to contribute financial and volunteer support to MANNA to help with their mission” shares Mike Giessmann, Director of Finance, PECO.

Want to get involved and help MANNA during the holiday season? Contact Glenda, our Volunteer Associate or call 215-496-2662 x100. We still have available volunteer shift opportunities!


Kitchen Panarama

Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. This month, we encourage everyone to take time to consider the risk factors for diabetes and to take steps to prevent it.

Did you know?

There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational. Only about 5% of diabetics are type 1, and many of those are diagnosed in childhood or as young adults. Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women (about 2-10%) and typically ends after pregnancy. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and tends to develop in adulthood and is preventable. Comorbidities or complications associated with diabetes are severe. Many are common and can cause serious, long-term consequences including: hypoglycemia, hypertension (affecting 71% of adults with diabetes), dyslipidemia (affecting 65% of adults with diabetes), cardiovascular disease (death rates are 1.7 times higher with diabetes), heart attack (1.8 higher hospitalization rate with diabetes), stroke (1.5 higher hospitalization rate with diabetes), blindness (in diabetics over 40 years in age, 28.5% have damage to blood vessels in eyes that may leads to blindness), kidney disease (diabetes is the primary cause of kidney failure in 44% of all new cases) and amputations (73,000 in 2010 alone, accounting for 60% of all non-traumatic lower-limb amputations).

Diabetes is the 4th most common primary illness in clients served by MANNA. In the past year alone, MANNA has served 433 diabetic clients, comprising 23% of all MANNA clients. As of 2012, 9.3% of Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes – almost 1 in 10! Over a quarter of all seniors have diabetes and it is now the 7th leading cause of death in the United States. There are 1.7 million new cases per year and approximately 7 million diabetics are undiagnosed.


The most effective way to prevent and control diabetes is through a proper diet. A proper diabetic diet is more than just skipping out on cake and cookies. Managing diabetes through diet requires portion control, meal regularity and balance. Diabetics must regulate the amount of carbohydrates in their diets in order to keep blood glucose levels safe. Balancing carbohydrates with protein and fiber is important as well. If blood glucose levels spike too high or drop too low the effects can range from shakiness and fatigue to hospitalization and seizures. Working with a Dietitian and/or a Certified Diabetes Educator can help diabetics make smart choices and minimize the risk of high or low blood sugar. MANNA’s dietitians provide free nutrition counseling and education for individuals suffering from diabetes. To schedule an appointment, contact the Nutrition Department at 215-496-2662 x5.


MANNA is also proud to share that we will Step Out for Diabetes! On Saturday, November 1st, the MANNAmals will once again be at the Art Museum to support The Walk to Stop Diabetes. We’re committed to walk and raise money in this inspirational event not because 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but because we personally know some of them, and want to do something about it. So many lives are touched by diabetes. Chances are your life is too. Join us or donate – either way, you can change lives. For more information or to register, visit our Team Page or search for Team MANNA. We are forever grateful for your support. Together we can Stop Diabetes!


get ready to run4urlife

Have you heard all of the #Run4UrLife craze? If not, allow us to tell you all about the first ever spooky fun run 3k through West Hill Laurel Cemetery on October 30th! We are beyond excited to launch this unique event that encourages fitness and benefits MANNA.

The idea for Run4UrLife came about at an Independence Business Alliance meeting hosted by Comcast when our very own Rob Saxon got to talking with Matthew Ray of Chatterblast, Deb Cassidy of West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Klay Fennel of Comcast, and Gavin McKay of Unite Fitness. What started as a cool idea quickly become a very real and very happening event thanks to some amazing professionals in this city coming together.

Tag Strategies generated a logo, poster, and t-shirt design and Sage Communications provided their public relations expertise to get us some media coverage. Christopher Gabello and Gabello Studios shot and directed an amazing PSA for Run4UrLife and we thank Comcast for getting it out there for all to see!

The OFFICIAL Run4UrLife video:

We are so grateful to have such wonderful partners working with us. The funds raised from Run4UrLife are going to help MANNA continue to nourish critically ill neighbors in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Don’t miss out on all of the fun! Get your costume ready, lace up your sneakers and get ready to #Run4UrLife. After you outrun the ghosts and ghouls of the cemetery there will be drinks, snacks and fun at a 2-hour after party in the West Laurel Hill Cemetery Conservatory. Prizes will be awarded to the best costumes of the night. We look forward to seeing everyone on Mischief Night for some bone-chilling fun!




You can register for this frightfully fun Halloween event HERE.