It's Not Over Yet - How the Government Shutdown Has Affected Our Community and How You Can Help

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides millions of low-income families with a plastic card or “food stamps” to help provide food for their households. As the Government shutdown continues, there is a very real possibility that funds for the program will run out in February. The Huffington Post reports that in an effort to make sure recipients receive their February SNAP benefits, the Government has already added funds to the SNAP EBT cards and many recipients do not know they have the money on the card already, or if they do, they do not know that this money has to last them possibly into March unless the Government reopens and SNAP benefits are funded beyond February.


Chart: The Conversation, CC-BY-ND Source:  USDA Food and Nutrition Service   Get the data

Chart: The Conversation, CC-BY-ND Source: USDA Food and Nutrition Service Get the data


The Government has already made moves to restrict the SNAP program by signing into law on Dec. 20, 2018, a new bill that left out new limits on the eligibility of adults without children. Those limits were part of the House version, but Congress dropped them prior to the bill’s passage. But that same day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed a rule that would restrict access anyway. Source:

A survey by CalNonprofits revealed the Government shutdown is also hurting nonprofits that rely on federal funding to provide Safety Net Services such as food and shelter. Some nonprofits report that they cannot complete applications for new funds for everything from home loan applications, to applications for infrastructure, and economic development. Nonprofits are also lowering their fundraising expectations from the federal Government which will mean searching for new sources of funding to cover the gap.

While the Government has just announced a 3 week CR, this doesn’t mean the impact of the shutdown is over in the long-term. Furloughed workers who will soon be receiving back pay will be playing ‘catch up’ on their rent, utilities, and other bills that have been put on hold while they have been working without pay.

Thousands of workers and their families have been forced to go into debt in order to meet basic living needs, and the ultimate, permanent resolution of the shutdown will not address this issue. Contract employees are still not expected to receive any back pay, forcing them to face a future of financial losses without any hope of recovery.

At Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen, we continue to provide hot nutritious meals to anyone in need, no questions asked. We welcome all affected by the shutdown to join us at one of our public service sites Monday through Friday at 4:30pm. Please join us at:

  1. Eastside Neighborhood Center; 2150 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116

  2. Goodwill of Silicon Valley; 1080 North 7th Street, San Jose, CA 95112

We have also opened brand new location! We are serving Monday and Thursday at San Jose Vietnamese Seventh Day Adventist Church located at: 1066 South Second Street, San Jose, CA 95112 - All are welcomed, no questions asked.


Loaves & Fishes does not currently receive any federal funding and relies on the generosity of individuals like you to help feed our hungriest neighbors. Now is a critical time in our community to make sure the people who need it most have access to our services. In addition to our three public meal service sites, we partner with 40+ nonprofit partners to deliver meals across the Bay Area to community centers, low-income senior residents, and shelters. We cannot continue this work without the support of generous people like you. Please consider a gift to Loaves & Fishes to support your neighbors affected by the Government shutdown.

Contributed by Madeline Martin, Director of Marketing & Development, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen

Need a little help during the #governmentshutdown? Get free hot meals and healthy groceries!

Are you or someone you know affected by the #governmentshutdown?  Loaves & Fishes and Second Harvest Food Bank can help you get free hot nutritious meals and free healthy groceries.


Loaves & Fishes provides a free hot nutritious dinner, no questions asked, Monday - Friday at 4:30pm at the following location.

  1. Catholic Charities Eastside Neighborhood Center; 2150 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA

  2. Goodwill of Silicon Valley; 1080 North 7th Street, San Jose, CA

Second Harvest Food Bank can help you get free healthy groceries - Visit to learn more.

Nancy, Senior Manager of Community Partnerships at Second Harvest Food Bank informs us:

“Here’s what we’ve learned about changes to CalFresh during the government shutdown

o   For most CalFresh participants, February benefits will be issued early, between January 16-20. These are the benefits that normally would have been issued in February 2019.  Recipients should budget carefully. They are intended for the entire month of February and recipients will NOT get additional benefits in February if they exhaust all of their funds.

o   Participants who receive CalFresh and have a report due in January should complete the report ASAP. If they are still eligible, benefits will be issued February 1-10.

o   There are currently no changes for people applying or reapplying for CalFresh, but there will be a delay in receiving the benefits.

o   We do not yet know about March benefits. Our hope is that the government re-opens quickly and March benefits will be delivered on their normal schedule. We will keep you updated as we learn more.”

If you or someone you know is in need of healthy nutritious food, please reach out to Second Harvest "Food Bank and Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen

Follow SHFB on Twitter or Facebook

Follow Loaves & Fishes on Twitter and Facebook

Save 20% at Sports Basement Dec 16-19 and Support Loaves & Fishes!

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen!

Sports Basement is inviting everyone at Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen (that’s you!) to a very special shopping event, where you’ll receive 20% off your entire purchase all day long.

Mention your Basementeer account at the register, so your purchase supports Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen!

Date: December 16 - 19, 2018

Time: All day long!

Location: All 10 Sports Basement stores!

Can't join us at the store? Join the celebration by shopping online!

Use the code 2050008419173 at checkout.

INSTORE COUPON: REG: %SKU: 699658 + MKTR SKU: 2050008419173

Your support helps Loaves & Fishes Break the Cycle of Poverty

In Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, 720,000 people are food insecure. The combined population of these two counties amounts to 2.7 million. If you were fortunate enough to have had breakfast this morning, then you probably have the brain power work out that more than one-quarter of the residents in these two "well-off" Bay Area counties are food insecure. They don't get enough to eat. 

The USDA formally defines food insecurity as "the state of being without reliable access to affordable, nutritious food because of lack of money and other resources." Worldwide, food insecurity is a major cause of mortalilty and morbidity. While the most seriously affected in the Bay Area include seniors, veterans, and children, food insecurity also affects wage earners, the very people on whom those groups rely. 

Seniors, who paid taxes all their working lives, are subsisting on dried beans and angel hair pasta; veterans, who put their lives on the line for the rest of us, are struggling to put food on the table as they adjust to civilian life, in some cases, life without limbs. Meanwhile, the secrets to some of the planet's biggest health, social, economic, and environmental problems lie locked inside the undernourished minds of children who are going to school hungry. 

By putting your generosity to work with Loaves and Fishes' resources, together you can unlock those solutions, give veterans the foundation for a productive civilian life and secure a happy, active retirement for Silicon Valley seniors. 

The cycle of food insecurity & chronic disease

In an article entitled, "Food Insecurity and Health: A Conceptual Framework," Sheri Weiser of the University of California at San Francisco and her colleagues describe food insecurity in terms of the following pathways: nutritional, behavioral, mental health, and possible immune pathways. They speak of pathways linking food insecurity with diabetes and cardioascular risk, to HIV acquisition and disease progression, and immunological pathways relating to HIV and cardiovascular disease. 

The bottom line? Food insecurity contributes to poor health and chronic disease, which in turn reduces employability while also increasing healthcare expenditure. Inevitably, paying for healthcare leaves less of the family budget to buy food. The cycle feeds itself. 

Case Study: Sean Kayode 

Sean Kayode's story provides a stunning example of the self-sustaining cycle of food insecurity and homelessness. Sean had been living in his car in San Francisco for about two years. Sean's car not only provided him with a 'roof over his head', it was also his source of income since he used it to deliver food through Uber Eats. This highly efficient, although blatently undesirable, state of affairs ended abruptly at 3 am on March 5, 2018, when the city impounded his black 2005 Mercedes Benz. He had too many overdue parking tickets. Kayode had worked his way out of homelessness and bought a car. The City of San Francisco, which needed to maintain the credibility of its parking restrictions, took away his home and his livelihood. Sean was homeless and jobless once again. 

Thanks to the help of Jude Pond of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, who filed a lawsuit on Sean's behalf, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ordered that the car be returned. Sean was 'lucky.' Tens of thousands of Californians live in their cars. When losing their cars to impoundment leads to the loss of their homes and workplaces, there's no place left to go but the streets. 

The Pathway from Food Insecurity to Food Security 

While this sounds pretty dismal for people residing in the Bay Area, Anne Santos, Community Relations Coordinator at Loaves and Fishes San Jose, has devised a pathway from food insecurity to food security. This is where you and Loaves and Fishes join forces to help this unacceptably large chunk of the population eat healthily, function productively, and ultimately retire from the cycle of food insecurity and chronic disease. 

Image Credit: Loaves & Fishes Community Relations Coordinator, Anne Santos.

Image Credit: Loaves & Fishes Community Relations Coordinator, Anne Santos.

The diagram lays out the pathway in simple, sequential steps. In reality, there are multiple connections from one or more steps to others along the way. The first 'step' on the pathway is Emergency Food Assistance. Loaves and Fishes provides a monthly grocery bag program of staple foods and a bagged lunch program from its public meal service sites for anyone in need. The second step is Soup Kitchens. In February 1980, L&F started out as a traditional soup kitchen, offering a simple meal of fish and bread to 11 adults and 15 children. It achieves this this by partnering with 30+ nonprofits (Step 9 - Mentor & Promoter) also serving vulnerable populations in Santa Clara and San Mateo County. 

In 2014, in order to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the community, the charity centralized its meal preparation into one commercial kitchen and added delivery service to expand its reach and serve more of the hungry. The program works to improve both the immediate and long-term physical health of hungry children, families, seniors, veterans, students and individuals.  In FY 2018-2019 L&F expects to serve over 525,000 meals to 320,000 individuals, of whom nearly 100,000 are children (Step 3).  

To summarize, in collaboration with more than 30 mentors and partners and with the help of herbs and vegetables donated by Coyote Valley Nursery and high school students who help out on its one-third-acre organic farm, Loaves and Fishes San Jose provides 320,000 people, almost half of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties' food insecure, with healthy, nutrient-dense meals, groceries, and bagged lunches on a regular basis. In the process of helping with the gardening, kids learn about food sustainability and feeding the hungry. Volunteers and staff from SHFB, who assist with the grocery bag program, encourage people to sign up for SNAP.  

All of this is made possible because of the generosity of you, Loaves and Fishes' cherished donors. Doesn't it just make you want to give more, so you can keep the pathways to food security moving forward?

Article Credit: Dr. Kimberly Martin, PhD.

Because of YOU we raised 23,352 hot nutritious meals!


We are so grateful for your support!

Thank you to everyone who supported us on #GivingTuesday and helped spread the word!

Thanks to YOU, we are able to serve an additional 23,352 hot nutritious meals to children, families, seniors, and the homeless this holiday season!

P.S. We will hear from Facebook after November 29, 2018, how much was matched by Facebook & PayPal.

Please follow us on social media to find out our grand total! @LoavesFishesSJ