Join Loaves & Fishes for a Special Benefit Concert at Cafe Stritch - July 16, 2018

Join us Monday, July 16, 2018, at Cafe Stritch in downtown San Jose. Doors open at 5 pm and the live music begins at 7 pm. Get your tickets!

Ken Peterson is an award winning singer/songwriter. His Americana music has been recorded by several national know artists such as Glen Campbell, Kenny Rankin and former members of the Kingston Trio John Stewart and Dave Guard. Ken recently recorded an album of original songs entitled “Mark The Time” with a vision to perform his songs to raise money for those in need. As a Santa Clara native Ken is excited to return to his hometown and help raise funds for Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen. He will perform the new album in its entirety in what should be a very intimate evening of storytelling and inspiration. 

4 Different Ways to Support Loaves and Fishes

Hunger is an everyday concern for millions of Americans, some of whom may be your neighbors, classmates, or friends. The USDA reports that one in seven American households struggle with hunger (in the Bay Area that number is 1 in 4!), including 49 million individuals and 12 million children. -  Loaves and Fishes works to provide hot, healthy meals to those in need, no questions asked. In fiscal  2017-2018 year, we served over 500,000 meals! You can help support your community and help us fight hunger across the Bay Area. Take a look at the list below for some ideas on how to get involved,  because nothing can really get started until hunger is completely stopped.

1. Donate

We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the financial generosity of our community. Donations are used to provide hot, nutritious food to the individuals and families in our community that need it. There are many different ways to donate, including giving an online donation, giving a gift in memory of a loved one, or even donating shares of stock! All donations are tax-deductible and go directly back to the community-- helping serve over half a million meals to those in need across the Bay Area.

2. Volunteer

Have a passion for helping others? Come join our more than 4,000 volunteers! Loaves & Fishes is 99% volunteer oriented. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the help we receive from our generous community. There are opportunities for supporters of all ages in our community garden, kitchen, and grocery bag program. Plus, many companies that will match your volunteer hours with a financial donation. Check to see if your company provides volunteer grants by reaching out to your Human Resources or Corporate Social Responsibility department. Visit our volunteer page for more information.

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3. Participate in a fundraiser

Loaves and Fishes has numerous fundraising events every year to suit different interests and abilities! Recently, we had nearly 150 participants come to support the cause at the 3rd annual Loaves & Fishes Feed the Need 5K/10K run held on June 3rd. In the past, supporters have also hosted very successful events of their own, like Iron Construction’s Annual Food Drive and Wine party. Whatever your interest, participating in a fundraiser can make a huge impact on our organization and the people we serve, but it also brings you close together with other like-minded community members.

4. Create your own fundraiser

If you can’t make it to one of our fundraisers, set up your own event to inspire donations from the community, and get creative with it! Celebrate the community and bring others together by organizing a public potluck dinner. Charge $5 at the door, and ask some friends and community members to share their favorite recipes from home. Or, involve the kids by coordinating a pizza sale at the next high school football game. Any way you wish to fundraise, use an online event planning tool to spread the word and keep track of donations.

Whichever way you prefer to support us, your help is always greatly appreciated! You can help Loaves and Fishes can make an even bigger impact  over the next year to help your neighbors in need, and help bring the community together.

FEED THE NEED Results and Photos

Thank you to all of our sponsors and participants in the 3rd annual Loaves & Fishes Feed the Need 5K/10K run. 

Here are the results:

5K: https://www.runtheday.com/results/summary/52062

10K: https://www.runtheday.com/results/summary/52064

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Thank you

Sam Liccardo and Randy Hahn for being our Master of Ceremonies and Race Starter.

We truly appreciate your support!     

We hope that everyone enjoyed the event and will join us again next year. 
— Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen

The Face of Hunger May Surprise You

When we hear or read about “the hungry” or “the homeless”, we think of
somebody visibly hungry; or the traditional homeless person, with a grocery
cart with all their worldly goods; or someone (usually a man) huddling in an
entrance way trying to keep out of the rain.

A recent report issued by Second Harvest Food Bank found what we at
Loaves and Fishes have known for some time now – the face of the
hungry and homeless is changing!

It is called the “Silicon Valley Paradox” - that “while Silicon Valley is one of the
richest areas in the world…26.8% of the population – almost 720,000 people
– qualify as food insecure based on risk factors such as missing meals,
relying on food banks or food stamps, borrowing money for food, or neglecting
bills and rent in order to buy groceries. Nearly a quarter are families with
children. They are the non-traditional homeless: people living in their car or a
garage, working people who have to choose between rent and food, people
without access to a kitchen.” Who are these “hidden homeless?” They are
individuals and families with children, seniors on fixed incomes, veterans and
students.

They are people like Martina Rivera, a 52-year-old mental health nurse, whose
troubles began when her entire building was evicted last year. She thought
about moving in with family but worried about the burden. “My brother was
recovering from a stroke, and my mother is old,” she says. “I couldn’t put
more struggle on them. So what I found was my car.”

She told herself it was only temporary. “I work night shifts at a veterans hospital,
so I would go to my mom’s house to shower, and wait until it was time to work. I
waited and waited for the storm to pass.” Eventually, she found a room without
a private bathroom or kitchen. She shopped for food at 99 cent stores, ate
mainly canned food, and cooked in a microwave. It took a toll on her health,
she says.“I was having panic attacks. My body was like the walking dead. But I
thought I need to keep strong. And I never quit my job.”

Rivera says that for many working people, pride and self-esteem are
barriers to admitting need. “People don’t have money to buy food, but
they are shy to ask. But there is no reason to feel ashamed.”

Why is it that with an improving economy and a lowering unemployment
rate, we find ourselves feeding more people than ever have before?
Sadly, income inequality continues to grow, and the working poor simply
cannot earn enough to cover all their costs. It is heartbreaking to hear
our clients talk about the daily difficulty of having to choose between
purchasing food and meeting other basic needs such as rent, electricity,
and medicine. Finding food has become a central worry for most low
wage workers in our community, made worse by the high cost of
housing.

This year, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen will prepare, serve and
deliver over 500,000 hot nutritious meals to our hungry neighbors. It's a
critical first step - because, in the end, nothing can really start until
hunger is completely stopped.

Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen Hires Gisela B. Bushey as Executive Director

For Immediate Release

Loaves and Fishes Media Contact: Madeline Martin, maddy@loavesfishes.org

San Jose, CA, March 5, 2018 – The Board of Directors of Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen is excited to announce the hiring of Gisela Bushey as Executive Director. After a thorough 6-month executive search, that started with over 100 candidates, Loaves and Fishes is confident that we hired the right person for the job.

“Gisela brings an incredibly strong and varied set of skills to this position, and exceeded our expectations of what we were looking for in our next Executive Director.  With extensive experience in both the non-profit and corporate philanthropy sectors, a demonstrated passion and commitment to serving the most vulnerable in our community, and the insights we were looking for to advance the hunger relief needs of our clients, the Board of Directors and I are certain that Gisela will successfully lead Loaves and Fishes forward for many years to come,” said Board Chair Dan Barsanti.

Gisela served for more than 20 years in non-profit management positions, including Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County and The Housing Trust Fund.  Most recently, Gisela served as SanDisk Corporation’s Director of Foundation and Community Relations from 2010-2016, focusing global philanthropic and employee engagement activities around hunger relief, K-16 and STEM education and health and welfare for vulnerable populations; and was an Encore Fellow with the Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo’s Office of Strategic Partnerships from 2016-2017.  

“Gisela’s extensive organizational development and fund raising experience and hunger relief experience, which included working closely with Bay Area community agencies - including Loaves and Fishes - were what appealed to us the most,” says Barsanti.  “She is able to hit the ground running, and lead innovative and collaborative efforts to build upon the great work of serving over a half a million meals annually to hungry families, children, seniors, students, the homeless and veterans that Loaves and Fishes has been providing for 38 years.”

Gisela has garnered the respect and reputation as one of Silicon Valley’s most transformative community leaders.  She is a Silicon Valley Business Journal 2017 Women of Influence Award recipient, Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Responsibility Practitioner of the Year, and Women’s Innovation Network’s 2015 Leadership Award winner.

Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen has a long-standing reputation as a community leader in food insecurity/hunger relief and community engagement.  They have expanded their program model to become the only program that prepares, serves and delivers hot, nutritious meals to vulnerable populations from Gilroy to South San Francisco, CA. Working through two meal service sites in San Jose, and providing meals to over 30 partner non-profit organizations serving individuals, families, children, seniors, homeless and veteran populations, Loaves and Fishes will provide over 500,000 meals this year.

“I am delighted to join the Loaves and Fishes family,” says Gisela. “Building meaningful food security and safety net services for our neighbors in need resonates very deeply with me, and I am ready to take on the challenge of leading Loaves and Fishes into their fourth decade of service and beyond.”  

About Loaves and Fishes:  Since 1980, Loaves and Fishes has fought hunger in the California Bay Area by providing food security to those who need it most.  Nothing can start until hunger is stopped.  Loaves and Fishes provides over 1,500 hot nutritious meals a day to low-income, disadvantaged families, children, seniors, the homeless, veterans and students at their two meal service sites and to more than 30 non-profit partner organizations providing services throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  All services are provided free of charge, and to anyone in need.

Loaves and Fishes has received Second Harvest Food Bank’s Innovative Partner Award, Silicon Valley business Journal’s Community Impact Award, and Commendations from the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, the City of San Jose and the California State Senate.

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