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Warehouse with tables full of produce and volunteers

Who We Are

Welcome to Manna Market, a cornerstone of hope and sustenance. Our faith-based food recovery initiative is grounded in the belief that the abundance surrounding us should be shared and celebrated. In partnership with Second Harvest, local stores, farmers and other organizations, we specialize in rescuing perfectly good, quality food that would otherwise go unused. This food, rich in both nourishment and taste, is then shared with our community, ensuring that everyone has access to healthy, delicious meals.

Our mission is to be good stewards of the abundance God blesses this country with, to strive for community building through the distribution of recovered food, and to provide opportunities for people to grow in the Christian faith.


Manna Market’s story is a remarkable tale of faith, community, and environmental stewardship. What began as a simple act of service, spurred by Forrest Gregory’s initiative to feed the community around YouthWay Ministries, has blossomed into an expansive food recovery and sharing mission.

Forrest’s journey with Manna Market began in 2008, under the humble acknowledgment that the initiative’s success was guided by a higher power. “I’d like to say I started it, but I’m not smart enough. I think God had it planned all along, and I was just obedient,” Forrest reflects. His initial commitment to picking up surplus food for distribution quickly transformed into a deep-seated passion, not just for feeding his community but for tackling the broader issues of food waste and its environmental impacts.

As Forrest became more involved in the distribution process, he became acutely aware of the detrimental effects of food waste, including its significant contribution to methane production and climate change. This realization ignited a fervent passion within him to make a difference, not only in the lives of individuals receiving the food but in the health of the planet itself. This newfound understanding fueled the expansion of Manna Market’s mission, driving it to operate six days a week and eventually outgrow its original space at the youth center.

In January 2010, SonLight Church of the Nazarene provided the necessary space for the growing program, marking a crucial turning point in its development. The concept of Manna Market resonated deeply within the community, attracting other churches to join the cause. Forrest’s role evolved as he began mentoring these congregations, leading to the establishment of Manna Markets in seven Twin Cities locations.

By 2020, Manna Market found a new home at Substance Church in Spring Lake Park. Though not an official ministry of the church, Substance Church has become one of the main in-kind supporters, playing an invaluable role in Manna Market’s achievements. Their support, along with the dedication of countless volunteers and community members, has allowed Manna Market to distribute over three million pounds of food annually.

This journey, sparked by an accidental beginning, has grown into a powerful movement of faith, community support, and environmental advocacy. Manna Market stands as a testament to what can be achieved when we listen to the call to serve others and steward the Earth’s resources wisely. It’s a story of unexpected success, profound community impact, and the power of a shared mission to create a healthier, more sustainable world.

“I’d like to say I started it, but I’m not smart enough. I think God had it planned all along, and I was just obedient.”

Forrest Gregory,