Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank is Open to Serve the Community

| Written by
Manna Food Bank exterior at dusk

Staples Construction recently completed on the Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank located in Thousand Oaks, California. Manna, founded in 1971, is an organization that provides food assistance within the Conejo Valley of Southern California. Originally situated in a small house measuring just 700 square feet, the organization subsists mainly off private donations and funding. As the needs of the community have grown throughout the years, Manna was in desperate need of more space and upgraded facilities to meet a growing demand for services.

A new site was ultimately selected that included an existing church originally built in the 1940’s. With help from the City of Thousand Oaks and other municipalities, a design team was assembled to strategically plan a facility that maximized efficiency, and construction began in June of 2021. The project included salvaging/renovating part of the existing church structure and adding a new warehouse and pantry facility to better suit Manna’s needs for administrative offices, a food pantry, and much needed additional storage.

The remodel and addition provided 7,076 square feet of space to be utilized as a food pantry including a basement for storage. Features included new mechanical equipment, electrical service, accessible restrooms, and a service ramp. A new material lift was installed in the storage area to enable easy transport of food from the basement to the food pantry above it. Exterior improvements included a new courtyard, landscaping, parking lot, and sidewalks.

One of the most unique differentiators of Manna’s system is the integration of a “grocery store” style experience for its patrons, allowing them to pick what items best suit their family and lifestyle. Refrigerators and freezers with glass doors were put in for fresh food options, along with aisles that allow for families to come in and walk the space together, selecting what they need. This space is stocked by volunteers of the organization and open every Tuesday and Thursday to serve the community.

At the grand opening of the new facility, Manna President Darin Arrasmith and Executive Director Leanne Portzel emphasized the importance of a building that was built to serve the needs of the organization, rather than inhabiting a space built with another purpose in mind. “We wanted this building to be around for a long time. It was built for one use, and it will always be here for that use,” Arrasmith states. Edgar Thatcher, Facilities Manager, was quick to thank the project team and the “army of volunteers” who support Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank each and every day.

Manna Food Bank Warehouse 2 web

Today, Manna serves over 20,000 people annually and that number continues to grow.  Construction of the facility was a collaborative process of all stakeholders sharing a common goal to take care of those in the community who need it most.  Staples Construction is proud to have been part of this overall effort and congratulates Manna on the work that they continue to do for the community.

shared ico

Share this story