Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen began 31 years ago when Peggy Coleman, Barry Del Buono and Father Largente saw an unmet need in San Jose. They figured vulnerable families, senior citizens and homeless people could use a hot nutritious meal at no cost so they opened up their kitchen doors. They now have three locations and collaborate with many other local non-profits, like Second Harvest.
Like many of the more than 300 partner agencies in the Food Bank’s network, Loaves and Fishes helps address the holistic needs of those that come seeking their help. In addition to providing hot meals and groceries, they also give out backpacks brimming with school supplies, toys during the holidays, and Easter baskets for all of the children that walk through their doors. Food is often just the beginning of a larger safety net of services that a program like Loaves and Fishes can address for our neighbors in need. They call their clients "guests" and say that once they feel comfortable after receiving a warm meal, they are more likely to open up about their circumstances and get connected to other services they need.
"Second Harvest is excellent at gathering large quantities of food to help people in our community," their program staff says. "Twice a week we pick up staple items for cooking our hot nutritious meals. We also work together to provide grocery bags of food to over 165 families who pick up the items once a month."