In 1975 a handful of community members were wondering what to do about a relatively new phenomenon in Charlotte – hungry people. At the time, there was no coordinated effort to address the issue. A small group of concerned lay people at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church came together and agreed that our community needed to organize to help people who were hungry. Loaves & Fishes was born.
In its first year, the pantry that began at Holy Comforter fed 1,000 people. Today, Loaves & Fishes is a national model serving approximately 70,000 people a year through a network of 31 pantries in Mecklenburg County.
Loaves & Fishes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nondenominational organization founded and operated by local religious congregations and community organizations. Since 1975, Loaves & Fishes has responded to the problem of growing hunger in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina and continues to expand to meet that need.
40 Years of Impact at Loaves & Fishes
Through a network of 20 emergency food pantries located throughout Mecklenburg County, Loaves & Fishes provides a week’s supply of groceries to families and individuals experiencing a short term crisis.
At the height of the recession Loaves & Fishes feeds 126,803 people.
During the recession, Loaves & Fishes’ Board of Directors votes to lower the wait for clients between pantry visits from 60 to 30 days.
Loaves & Fishes expands to 6 pantries and feeds 20,000 people.
Mecklenburg Co. Council Boy Scouts of America’s Scouting for Food drive collects a record breaking 260,000 pounds of food.
Loaves & Fishes sees a return to pre-recession levels, providing a week’s supply of groceries to 78,602 people. 48% are children.
Client Choice is introduced. Clients choose from a nutritionally balanced shopping list the foods they know their families will eat lending dignity and cutting down on waste.
Loaves & Fishes purchases its first delivery truck.
A small group of dedicated volunteers, opens an emergency food pantry at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church in Charlotte. The pantry feeds 1,000 people.