Light up the grill – summer is officially here!   During these months of grilling fun, MANNA wants to help keep your family and friends safe from foodborne illnesses with these simple food safety practices.  Remember! Food safety is a TOP priority at MANNA because many of our clients have compromised immune systems.

  1. Practice good hygiene and wash your hands before eating, preparing food, or between foods that would cross contaminate such as red meat and fresh vegetables. Always wash hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Marinate your food in the refrigerator to prevent bacteria from growing.   Always reserve a portion of unused marinade to brush on food while it is cooking. Never re-use marinade that was used to flavor raw meat, poultry or fish.
  3. Preheat your grill approximately 20-30 minutes before grilling. For charcoal grills, the coals should be just coated with ash.
  4. Use a food thermometer to ensure that food is cooked to the proper temperatures.
  5. Food should never sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays to keep hot food hot. Keep cold foods cold by nesting them in bowls of ice or rotating items into the refrigerator/freezer.

Grilled Vegetable Kebabs



  • 10 (12-inch) wooden skewers
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 chopped fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
  • 1 pound Chinese or baby eggplant cut into ¾-inch slices
  • 3 small zucchini, cut into ¾-inch slices
  • 20 grape or cherry tomatoes


-Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes.

-Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper.

-Thread vegetables onto skewers.

-Brush vegetables generously with marinade.

-Grill, covered with lid over medium-high heat. Turn occasionally. Cook 10-12 minutes or until tender.

Illness Never Goes on Vacation

Celestine Geraldine

Cancer does not take a week off. There is no rest from HIV/AIDS. Renal disease does not let up. MANNA clients battle their illnesses each day, every day, all summer long.

This summer, MANNA client Celestine will travel only as far as her dialysis center. It’s a short trip, but it’s arduous and difficult for her. Intense leg pain. Calcification of her blood vessels. Unbearably painful lesions. Chronic kidney disease has ravaged Celestine. Standing and walking are hard, hard work.

“I can’t tell you how wonderful MANNA has been to me and how faithfully they’ve delivered my meals every week. I feel so blessed to have found out about MANNA and to receive their help. I’m getting my strength back. I’m starting to gain weight. You can’t know how important that is. I had just stopped eating. I didn’t have the strength or the desire to eat. But now I have so many good things in my refrigerator” says Celestine.

MANNA meals are a constant reminder that we care – all of us – and that a helping of hope and targeted nutrition CAN change a sick neighbor’s battle into a successful one. Help us deliver over 200,000+ meals to  neighbors in need – donate today! 

Summer Grilling just got a little sweeter

Sunny skies, warm nights and the smell of sunscreen – it really is summer! That means it is time to head outdoors and light the grill.


Keep your summer grilling heart healthy by following these MANNA tips:

  • Be creative – veggies, fruit and even pizzas can be great on the grill. 
  • Go low – load up on low fat, high protein foods. Lean sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, fish and vegetable proteins such as veggie burger and dogs are a great alternative to traditional high-fat, high cholesterol grilling fare. Spice it up! Marinating, using spice rubs and adding fresh chopped herbs to your foods prior to cooking adds low-fat goodness and flavor. Just remember to keep your spices low in sodium.
  • Think safety – to avoid any possibility of food borne illness, make sure that your food is cooked to the proper temperature. You also want to cook foods until they are brown but not blackened to avoid adding carcinogens.
  • Dessert Anyone? End your meal with a healthy, grilled dessert. Try grilling fruits such as pineapples, peaches and even bananas topped with cinnamon and ginger…yum!
  • Make it a Meal that Matters – consider inviting  your friends and family and supporting MANNA clients like Donald by grilling a Meal that Matters.

Chef Keith’s Fiery Grilled Fruit  – Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 medium firm unpeeled bananas, peaches or 1/2 fresh pineapple
  1. In a small bowl, combine the rum, honey and cinnamon (add the cayenne pepper if  you are using it). 
  2. Prepare fruit. Cut bananas in half lengthwise, leaving the peel on. If using peaches, cut in half and remove pit; if using pineapple, remove core and slice into 1/2 thick half rounds.
  3. Place fruit cut side down on grill. Cover and grill over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  4. Turn and brush with honey mixture. Cover and grill 5-6 minutes longer or until tender. If using bananas, remove peel. Serve immediately.