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Why Donate to Loaves and Fishes?
On June 15 1983, Loaves and Fishes, Inc. was started by a group of 18 churches and social organizations and began serving meals at Nativity. It started in response to the lingering effects of a sour economy. For thirty-seven years, contributions of food, volunteer hours, and funds have continued making it possible for Loaves and Fishes to operate without interruption while serving well over two million meals.
Loaves was founded based upon the heart and souls of people caring for people. The kitchen was small, and the cooking tools were minimal, think short stirring spoons and old pots. Lack of shelving and refrigeration meant that Loaves had to purchase supplies day by day to fulfill their one goal of feeding hungry people. In the beginning, about 15 to 20 people a day would come to eat, funds were low, and the need was constant. The churches, social organizations, and city officials would come to volunteer and even to eat, often leaving donations under their plates, sometimes as much as $100.00. Most of those founding churches and social organizations continue to donate or volunteer today. Some individuals’ who volunteered from day one also continue to volunteer today.
Today, June 15, 2020, we provide 4,000 to 5,000 meals per month with three part-time staff and as many volunteers as we can get. Of those we serve, 50% of the people we serve are homeless, and the other 50% are homed, but unable to fully provide.
If in 1983, we started well intended, but ragtag, then we certainly felt ragtag when the Pandemic and social distancing began. But, as always, we hardly missed a beat, that heart and soul of people caring for people stood up, stood out, and got it done. We had to close the building to diners, but we went into the community with increased deliveries until we could restructure to take-out services. There are so many tear-bringing, soul-affirming stories, that, unfortunately, we can’t hug about right now. Such as the woman with children just out of domestic violence sleeping two weeks on an apartment floor and so humbly thankful for the food we were able to bring. The man without a phone, in a trailer in the Kiln, who had just had his toe removed and had no food. The many people without homes, those who immediately lost jobs, who came (come) for the hot meals and with social distancing say “thank you.”
It is June 15, 2020. These last 37 years have shown that economies ebb and flow, Katrina’s come and go, and Pandemics happen. We have been in three locations. The building that we are in is for sale. It has gained a lot of interest and many showings. We have done a market review, met with a banker, and explored several options.
If the building is sold, and not to us, then the new owners could give us as little as 30 days to relocate. We ask that you please consider helping us to continue to provide meals to hungry people. The people who are most often affected immediately and long-term by the things that happen and the uncertainty that follows. Any initial amount and ongoing amount specifically for our building campaign will be much appreciated and will contribute to great work – caring for others in need.
Donations can be sent to PO Box 233 Biloxi, MS 39533. Please note on the donation that it is for Loaves Permanent Home. I have also included a flyer for our upcoming Fundraiser if you or anyone you know would like to participate.
Thank you for being a part of making the past 37 years possible and helping towards the next 37.
Leslie Ramon, Executive Director
228-264-1600 | firstname.lastname@example.org