COVID-19 PANDEMIC OPERATING STATUS AND UPDATE
We are still open and operational!
The program has been preparing bag lunches and making them available to guests just outside the kitchen door every weekend since March 15. We have been handing out about 125 lunches per day. The items in the lunch include sandwiches, fruit, snacks, and bottles of water. While no longer providing volunteers, our sponsoring partner parishes and groups have continued to support us with food or the money to purchase food. We are maintaining social distancing, both in the kitchen and in handing out the lunches.
Loaves and Fishes donates food cards to tenants in distress
In response to an urgent appeal from the DC Tenants Union, Loaves and Fishes donated $3,000 worth of grocery store gift cards on May 10 to select tenants – a total of 60 people, including families and a few individuals – at an apartment building near St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church. The recipients of this gift, laid off from service-oriented employers in Washington, D.C., and ineligible for federal assistance, have all been struggling to meet rental demands and to feed their families during the coronavirus pandemic. A representative from Misa Alegria (St. Stephen’s Spanish-speaking congregation) and Nigel Collie from Loaves and Fishes presented the donation to leaders of the tenants in front of their building on 15th Street NW. Later, the tenants expressed their sincere gratitude for our support, with several saying that the gift, $50 cards for each tenant, made a big difference for their families. The Loaves and Fishes management board is exploring additional ways to make a difference during this crisis.
NEED A HOT MEAL? You are welcome at Loaves and Fishes for lunch at noon every Saturday and Sunday at 1525 Newton St NW (lower level of St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church). We also provide lunch on federal holidays.
Our program relies on support from individuals, communities, organizations, and foundations. Please support our mission by clinking on the Donate button on the menu bar above. Your gift, large or small, will ensure we are here to feed people who are hungry.
Loaves and Fishes began as an outgrowth of St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church’s practice in the mid-1960s of providing meals after Sunday services. When hungry nonchurchgoers began to appear in considerable numbers, the congregation launched a meals ministry and named the program Loaves and Fishes after the miracle described in the gospels. As Loaves and Fishes grew, other churches stepped in to help. We are now sustained by a partnership with 11 other churches, many of them in the suburbs, and diverse foundations, community groups, and individuals.
Our mission and goals are two-fold: to feed the hungry in our community and to educate volunteers and community members about hunger and homelessness. We are proud to serve a warm, healthy lunch to all who come to us without regard to their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religious affiliation, or lack of it.
The need for free meals is particularly acute on weekends when most free meal programs in Washington are closed. For the poor and the homeless, finding the next meal is a seven-day-a-week challenge. Our guest surveys last year and in previous years regularly show that most guests appreciate not only the food, which is generally rated as high quality, but also the welcoming, calm surroundings, an opportunity to be off the streets for a while and perhaps have a game of spades or checkers while waiting for the meal.