Starting today, the staff at MANNA Food Co-op in Detroit Lakes is ready to begin taking orders for their latest offering - Local Eats, a meal kit service featuring organic foods from local farmers.

"Partnership 4 Health gave us a grant to use toward advertising, packaging and the use of their chef, who is working with us to help maintain nutritional guidelines for all our meals," says Lisa Skarie, general manager of the MANNA store on Barbara Avenue.

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Each week, MANNA will be offering two new meal boxes, one with an entree and one with a salad, she added.

"Each meal box will contain enough food to feed 4 to 6 people - the salad can probably feed more than that," Skarie said.

MANNA is also working hard to maintain its tradition of offering locally produced foods, added Roxanne Carr, who works with Skarie at the co-op store.

"We work with over 60 local vendors, from within a 50-mile radius," Carr said. "And our food is organic... all of our meats will be from free-range, grass-fed animals, with no hormones."

Plus, it's affordable.

"We're trying to keep the price range between $20-$30 per box," Skarie said, adding that the service is open to both co-op members and non-members - and from now through the end of February, customers can get $5 off their first meal box order by using the code "co-op" when ordering, either online or via phone.

The online service is available at www.mannafoodcoop.com/eats, while calls can be made to 218-844-4211 during MANNA's regular store hours, which are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays (the store is closed on Sundays).

"You can also order a box in person, at the store," said Skarie. "The first boxes will be available to pick up at the store on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and then every Tuesday after that."

Each week's menu, which includes such tasty offerings as Maple Dijon Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli, Almond and Apple Salad - the two options available this week - will be posted on the website at the link listed above, with prices included.

"All orders must be prepaid," Carr said - and they do not currently offer delivery service, so orders must be picked up on the designated day, during regular store hours.

Though the box does come with easy-to-follow instructions for meal preparation, the food is not pre-cooked.

"You do the cooking," Skarie said. "It's something new, something different that's going to benefit a lot of people... we're offering a healthy, organic choice (for prepackaged meals) to our community, fresh from the farm to your table."

MANNA Food Co-op is located at 105 Barbara Ave., Detroit Lakes. For more information please call 218-844-4211 or email info@mannafoodcoop.com.