Volunteers needed for Loaves and Fishes

Photo courtesy Sally Neel
Volunteers are the essential part of Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit organization that serves a nutritious hot lunch weekly at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street downtown.

By Sally Neel
Special to The PREVIEW
Loaves and Fishes is a nonprofit 401(c)(3) organization that serves a free, nourishing hot lunch every Thursday at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This highly successful program runs completely on volunteer help: people who prepare the meals and serve and clean up afterwards.
Often, these volunteers are members of churches or service organizations who volunteer as a group, but individuals can also come to provide their assistance. It is a wonderful way to meet other people in the community and provide for those who need a healthy meal. Loaves and Fishes needs your help.
Immediate volunteer needs include:
• Currently, there are two lunch dates that have not been filled. Loaves and Fishes needs help with cooking, serving and cleaning on Oct. 25 and Dec. 20. If your organization is too small to cover the entire project (feeding 250-275 people), consider teaming with another small organization or gather friends to help. Individuals are also welcome to come and help. There is a paid professional cook available to help you prepare the meal and a Loaves and Fishes supervisor to instruct volunteers. Loaves and Fishes provides the meat, bread, desert, drinks and condiments. Volunteers provide other cooking ingredients.
• Individuals are needed to pick up donated meat and pastries from City Market each week and store it in freezers at the Parish Hall.
• Individuals are needed to distribute meat to the community food pantries each Monday at 1 p.m.
• Individuals are needed to serve as board members. Board members must have prior experience working with Loaves and Fishes and working with a large number of volunteers. Board members help set policies and guidelines and uphold the bylaws of the organization.
Volunteers often comment on how much joy they receive from serving others in this way. It is a unique and meaningful way to participate in a community effort to help others in need. You will find a wonderful camaraderie that grows among servers and with those you serve, along with a great satisfaction in knowing you are making a difference in people’s lives.
If you or your organization is interested in volunteering, please contact Gwen Bartley at gwenbartley@live.com.