Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays Merger Questions and Answers

Whats happening?

Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays are merging to strengthen their capacity to tackle all the faces and phases of food insecurity in Charlotte. This is a merger of two strong, healthy and historic equals who saw this as an opportunity to have a greater impact in meeting the ever escalating hunger needs of individuals and families, now intensified by the global pandemic and its continuing impact on our economy.

Why?

Since the mid-1970s, Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays have shared the belief that access to nutritious food is a basic human right for everyone in our community.

Loaves & Fishes provides nutritious groceries for neighbors in need. Friendship Trays delivers healthy meals to the elderly and infirm. Combining forces allows for distribution of more food to more people in more places in more efficient ways, with less waste. By increasing access to fresh, healthy food, this new organization will make sure that everyone’s hunger needs are met in the way that they need it.

Addressing food insecurity is crucial in providing economic opportunity and is part of a holistic approach to improving life for everyone in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Will the mission remain the same?

Both missions will continue, with the impact of services expected to grow. We are excited about the potential to have greater impact on the root causes of food insecurity by having a larger platform for advocacy.

The new organization will respect and celebrate the history of Friendship Trays and Loaves & Fishes. That will not change and we will remain true to the grassroots of our combined mission to feed people in crisis.

Why now?

The plan to merge was in place a year ago but halted by the pandemic. Since that time the pandemic has only exacerbated the problem of access – people have lost access to fresh, nutritious food through job loss, isolation, illness, fear of leaving their homes, etc… As a result, both Lucy Bush Carter and Tina Postel felt even more urgency to formalize their shared vision to be the answer for access to healthy food so that no one in our community goes to bed hungry.

Who will lead the organization?

Loaves & Fishes Executive Director Tina Postel will become the CEO of the new organization. Friendship Trays Executive Director Lucy Bush Carter will serve as Director Emeritus through the transition. Both Boards of Directors will combine into one board to serve the newly formed organization. Both Friendship Trays and Loaves & Fishes are financially sound with strong donor and community support.

What changes will be seen? Will the name change?

Both Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays will continue operations as usual.

Friendship Trays will continue its mission to deliver healthy meals to individuals throughout the community. Loaves & Fishes will continue to distribute groceries through mobile pantry operations and home grocery deliveries. While services will continue uninterrupted, the opportunity to expand services through shared resources will provide the most immediate impact.

Once the merger is complete the official name of the newly formed organization will be Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, Inc. but may change as the mission evolves. A first step of the merger will be to formally unite the staff of both organizations under one roof, as safety measures allow.

Each existing website will continue to offer information for the clients they serve, how to get involved, how volunteers may serve, and how donors may support our missions.

How will this impact volunteers? Donors?

Fighting hunger requires strong support from our community working together to make an impact through time and money.

The need for and deployment of volunteers for both programs is legendary and ongoing! It takes an army of volunteers to deliver meals and distribute groceries. WE NEED YOU!!!

Financial contributions are needed and appreciated, and can be made securely on our websites, by mail, or over the phone.

Please visit www.friendshiptrays.org and www.loavesandfishes.org for more information about volunteering or making a financial donation.

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