Master's Manna, Inc.'s mission is to help homeless, near homeless, low to moderate income families and individuals obtain essential needs.
Master's Manna’s primary goals include:
Reducing food insecurity (a condition of uncertain availability of or inability to acquire safe, nutritious food in a socially acceptable manner)
Providing intervention, mental and physical health support services
Making available vocational and educational opportunities
Supporting supervised court ordered community service
Affording opportunity to the local youth to complete community service hours for scouts, school and/or faith community
Founded in 2006, Master's Manna, Inc. has worked with thousands of individuals and families in need. The operation as a food pantry and clothes closet began in the basement of the Wallingford Church of the Nazarene in 600 sq. ft. on December 6, 2006.
By December of 2007, we needed to locate to a larger facility to meet the demand of our community. 316 North Colony Road, Wallingford became our second home. Located on Route 5, many individuals were able to walk or take the bus. The food pantry and clothes closet expanded to include a soup kitchen, small community garden, vocational training and a recognized community service site.
Former Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell began her "Care and Share" campaign at Master's Manna in 2008.
In April of 2009, we relocated to our current location at 46 North Plains Industrial Road in Wallingford, CT. This 6100 sq. ft. space enables Master's Manna fulfill our mission and vision, as previously mentioned.
Liberty Bank Foundation was our first major funder in 2007 and has been joined by Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, Meriden/Wallingford United Way, James H. Napier Foundation,Town of Wallingford among many others.
The Town of Wallingford recognizes Master’s Manna, Inc. as a “Lead Agency.” Our success can be measured in number of volunteers who currently or have previously required our provided services. Our collaboration partnerships continue to grow as unmet needs of our clients are identified. Master’s Manna, Inc. has matured into a “one-stop-shop” as well as a “safe haven.”
Staff and core volunteers are trained in CPR/AED, Mental Health First Aid, QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeping, have the ability to recognize a possible opiate overdose and administration Narcan, triage individuals seeking assistance and use intervention skills as needed.
The kitchen is fully licensed and inspected by the Board of Health gaining scores of 98 out of 100 on a consistent basis.
Master's Manna operates with one full time and two part-time staff plus over 150 volunteers. 17,972.25 hours of volunteer time was donated during 2013.
Donation of 2012 Nissan Quest
Obtain suitable facility in Wallingford of at least 15,000 square feet as close to a bus route as possible
Ensure ongoing funding with assistance from Strategic Planning and Development Committee, utilizing social media, through launching new interactive webpage, planning, implementing and completing 2 Appeal Campaigns
Build Board by adding at least two individuals with strong financial and/or legal background.
Provide current ongoing services to 15% increase in individuals seeking basic human needs assistance.
A building at least 15,000 square feet with loading dock, warehouse space, room for industrial kitchen and dining room, offices, classroom, shower and laundry facilities located as close to a bus route as possible while remaining in Wallingford. (Approx. $800,000 for building)
Income of $250,000 to ensure programming with a 15% increase in number of individuals seeking assistance.
A professional fundraiser paid from proceeds of event
Find and encourage entities to “sponsor” a program and fund for 1-3 years ($5000 - $50,000)
At least two Board members with legal and/or financial knowledge & expertise.
Master's Manna operates with one full time and two part-time staff plus over 150 non-paid volunteers. During 2014 we anticipate a 15% increase of individuals/families seeking access to services. With our current volunteer base, collaborative partners and relationship with local food vendors we believe that we can confidently meet the increasing demand. The majority of the human resources required by Master’s Manna are provided through donations from a volunteer workforce. In 2013 387 volunteers donated 17,972.25 hours equivalent to over 8 full time equivalents or FTEs.
The governance structure of Master’s Manna is also highly dependent upon volunteers. Organizational oversight consists of a Board, CEO and a team of staff members. The commitment of the non-profit voluntary board is a valuable asset for Master’s Manna. The Board is comprised of highly engaged community volunteers closely aligned with the core values and mission of Master’s Manna. While Master’s Manna maximizes the contributions of the volunteer board individual board members may have limited experience, knowledge or interest in these areas. Therefore the CEO remains an integral role in the governance structure.
Developing and executing strategy to meet long term goals is challenging for many organizations. However the challenge for a non-profit such as Master’s Manna is compounded by limited resources and dependence upon external stakeholders to meet an ever growing community need. Currently Master’s Manna’s largest challenge is obtaining funding to support the operating costs so that we can continue to support the needs of our community in a pro-active and coordinated manner. In order to continue to remain effective, it is imperative that we develop strategy and operational plans for securing ongoing sources of funding and developing programs that are consistent with our mission and meet the needs of our community. In addition, as the organization grows it will become necessary for formalize certain procedures to ensure consistency and provide continuity for incoming volunteers.
Aug. 1, 2013 was a "normal" day at Master’s Manna. Community Health Center had a full schedule of patients to see the doctor, the nurse and a Psychology Doctoral Student. Louis, a Rushford Homelessness Outreach worker was very busy assisting with Medicade benefits to housing. 21 volunteers worked diligently
Now I would like you to meet Ann. Ann was found sleeping on the steps of Wallingford's Emergency Shelter. Wallingford police were called. And the officer came to Master’s Manna, explained his situation stating he had no place to bring and brought Ann through the doors. She was disheveled, toothless, a little odiferous and obviously in NEED. Ann was taken to the kitchen where a meal was prepared for her. She asked if she could "sleep" for a few hours. Ann was given some blankets, a pillow and a cool spot in our "Conference/ Nurse's Station/ Classroom". She slept for three hours. In the meantime a Rushford worker helped evaluate the situation and was able to supply a bus token for 90 minutes of travel. Ann stated she was trying to get to Boston and would not elaborate. She had stated she did not want to go into a shelter and especially did not want to see any "head shrinkers". At 5 p.m. I woke Ann. She tended to a few NEEDS. We selected food with pull tab covers, bottles of water, "snacks", wet wipes, tissues, plastic spoons and a few other items to take on her travels. She asked if she could have the homemade afghan that has covered her while she slept. My heart broke (again). Off we went to the Middletown bus station and she was on her way for the next chapter of her story.
Because Master's Manna is contracted with CT Food Bank every household using the food pantry and Family Dining Center must be newly or re-registered each year. Our records indicate that the number of households seeking assistance is increasing, specifically families with children and seniors.
Cheryl Trzcinski is Founder/C.E.O of Master’s Manna, Inc., a Wallingford, CT “Lead Agency” providing basic unmet human needs to families and individuals in Greater Wallingford/Meriden which covers a twelve town area.
Cheryl has been a member of the Wallingford Adult Education Advisory Committee for the past three years, the Meriden Human Service Providers group for four years, and Shelter Plus Care for four years. In 2013 the Wallingford Transit made changes to the local bus route in response to the three year effort Cheryl spearheaded to revisit the transportation needs of Wallingford residents.
Cheryl, recognizing difficulty in gaining access to current and vital information for those seeking services, offering services and the funding of services shared her knowledge of this situation with members of Liberty Bank Foundation. Together they were instrumental in forming the Wallingford Forum, an entity comprised of service providers and funders which was established 5 years ago.
Under Cheryl Trzcinski’s leadership, Master’s Manna, Inc. has grown from a food pantry/clothes closet to a “Safety Net” organization moving from a small basement of a church to a 1,500 sq. ft. facility on North Colony Road. Outgrowing that space within a year Master’s Manna now occupies 6,100 sq. ft. on North Plains Industrial Road and is actively seeking a larger complex to accommodate increase in community needs.
During 2006, the first year of operation, 42 families received food and clothing. In 2013 over 3100 unique individuals received on-site access to food, clothing, primary medical care, mental health services, educational and vocational training, shower/laundry facilities, etc. and a myriad of volunteer opportunities.
Master's Manna provides onsite opportunities for individuals/families to obtain services or provide service to others. Master’s Manna has a strong non-discrimination policy for volunteers and those seeking assistance. Everyone is welcome, served, allowed to volunteer as long as they RESPECT themselves and ALL others while on the premises. There is no short supply of hugs and HOPE!
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Financial information is inputted by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
A strong community not only meets its members’ basic needs but also works to create long-term solutions to their problems. Provide people with affordable housing, enough to eat and access to affordable health care and you enable them to envision a better future for themselves.
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