NOWLeading Podcast: Unpacking The Manna Project with NOW Start Network

Exciting things are happening in Corvallis, Oregon, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of a congregation and its leaders. Listen to this episode of the NOWLeading Podcast to hear more about The Manna Project – a new start aimed at reaching those in the community who are struggling with food scarcity.

This episode is audio from NOW Start Network’s November Zoom call. Over the course of 50 minutes, you will be walked through this exciting launch with Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church lay leader Dennis Anderson and Pastor Eric Bohlmann. They introduce their concept of manufacturing cans of a healthy soup to be given to those with food insecurity as they leave the hospital after a trauma or procedure. These are people who may not have access to healthy foods that will help their bodies heal.

“In this particular case, what we’re going to do is deliver something that’s specifically engineered to be nutritious and aimed at that customer,” Anderson said. “To me that’s the key to the whole project — is delivering God’s best to people in need. We’re engineering it toward the people that need that.”

Key thoughts from this episode:

  • An early idea may undergo revisions before it ultimately meets the needs of the community… so be open to changes.
  • Partnerships are an important part of turning a dream into reality.
  • Listening (to customers, to those you serve, to community leaders) is key!
  • There are many steps to getting a plan off the ground. Be patient.


Rev. Jeremy Lucke, a NOW Start cultivator who leads this discussion, first heard about The Manna Project at a Circuit meeting. He was impressed with the idea from the get-go.

“When I heard them share about their project, two things jumped out to me right off the bat: One was that they were really strategically thinking about how they could partner with God’s mission coming out of COVID,” he said. “And the other thing too… was they weren’t thinking about how we could go back to the way things were in 2018 or 2017 — they were thinking about what they could do now for the sake of mission, for the sake of the gospel. Those things really shine through.”

Listen to the episode below.

NOW Start Network: The Manna Project (Helping People Facing Food Scarcity through A New Start)

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