Loaves & Fishes is celebrating its 35th year of having the privilege of serving our community.
An idea from a few dedicated volunteers at St. Raphael Catholic Church to expand their food offerings to struggling families sparked conversation and action. Instead of supplying pre-bagged items available to those who sought assistance, these parishioners created a dedicated space with regular hours and availability to anyone in the community. They named it Loaves & Fishes, echoing the New Testament story about feeding the multitudes.
At first they served a few families each week totaling about 100 people during an entire month. They couldn’t have realized what their beginnings in a storage closet would result in 35 years later, or that 18,657 people would receive food assistance in the last year alone. Loaves & Fishes Community Services would gain nonprofit status, move three times to accommodate increased need for services, and offer additional programs to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency.
This year Loaves & Fishes celebrates the founders, volunteers, donors, businesses, faith partners, organizations, and community members who, by their actions and contributions, have directly played a role in transforming lives. The efforts of so many have brought the issues of hunger and food insecurity out of the shadows. Great strides have been made in removing stigma and focusing on a more wholistic approach to having lasting impact for individuals and families, and ultimately generations and communities.
We celebrate the compassion of more than 1,500 tremendous volunteers who donate their time and use their special qualities to offer dignity and hope through our Grocery Assistance and CARES Programs. We celebrate the resilience and strength of those we are honored to serve and are moved by their gratitude and personal stories.
Loaves & Fishes Community Services relies on our community to serve our community, and for that we are grateful.