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Loaves & Fishes Luncheon of Hope featuring Jeannette Walls Raises Awareness of Summer Hunger to Sell Out Crowd

At the start of a summer of need, Loaves & Fishes invites the community to embrace the mission: With every canned good donated and every check written, we assure our neighbors that hope can outlast hunger.

Loaves & Fishes lifted up that theme at the Luncheon Of Hope on May 22 at Myers Park United Methodist Church featuring best-selling author Jeannette Walls.

Executive Director Tina Postel reminded the sellout crowd of 350 that this is the ministry’s busiest time of year.

With school out, thousands of children who rely on free and reduced breakfast and lunch turn to us. Loaves & Fishes hopes to raise $50,000 to respond accordingly. Financial donations help buy perishables such as fresh meat, eggs, bread, cheese and yogurt. There are currently 35 food pantries across Mecklenburg, each providing a week’s worth of groceries to families and individuals.

In this city of prosperity, the need is stunning: Loaves & Fishes served 77,600 people in 2018 – 46 percent of whom were children.

Jeannette Walls, the luncheon’s guest speaker, was a child of poverty. As she shared in her 2005 best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle, her family moved like nomads from one place to the next in search of something more. They lived in trailers and shacks. She remembers picking through garbage for food. But her father never surrendered his dreams, symbolized by the mansion he promised he’d build for them one day. A glass castle, he called it.

With humor and grace (but no notes), Walls said life leaves us scarred. (She once told a date about her childhood scars and he responded that’s OK, it gave her “texture.” She married the guy.) But no matter where we have been, she told the crowd, we are better than our circumstances. The family that finds itself at a Loaves & Fishes pantry may have an empty refrigerator at home. But their heart remains filled with hope. It’s up to us to feed that hope, she said. “It’s what this luncheon is about.”

Donate today to help feed a hungry child this summer.