Bill MacKaye, who had been associated with Loaves and Fishes since its inception in the late 1960s, passed away the morning of August 21. He was also a decades-long member of St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, which started Loaves and Fishes and continues to house it in its basement. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Loaves and Fishes Management Board.

Bill died in New Haven, Conn., surrounded by his family. He had been hospitalized for several weeks after a fall.

Bill was the institutional memory of the church, but so much more than that. He also sat on the vestry (board) of the church as well as the boards of numerous other nonprofit organizations. He was passionate about the Loaves and Fishes ministry of St. Stephen’s. To the program’s Management Board, staff and program, Bill was a champion, friend, mentor, and anchor for this ministry.

Bill’s memorial service will be held at St. Stephen’s on Saturday, September 30, at 10:30am, followed by a reception. If you are unable to attend the service, it will be live-streamed, and the recording will be posted to St. Stephen’s YouTube channel.

Read Bill’s obituary in the Washington Post (where his career as a journalist and editor culminated).

Memorial gifts

Following Bill’s wishes, his family encourages memorial donations to Loaves and Fishes in lieu of flowers.

To give:

  • by credit card (choose “In Memory of William “Bill” MacKaye” on the drop-down menu)
  • by check: Make your check out to “St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church” with “Loaves and Fishes-Bill MacKaye” on the memo line. You can mail your check to:

    St. Stephen and the Incarnation
    1525 Newton St NW
    Washington, DC 20010

    or, if you are a member of St. Stephen’s, you can drop your check in the offering plate at worship on Sunday morning.

The Loaves and Fishes kitchen and dining room are as busy as Santa’s workshop these days, with the elves preparing a special meal and items to distribute to people who will come on Christmas.

The program will serve a meal of a marinated chicken breast, scalloped potatoes, and cake or pie for dessert on Christmas Day. Some of those coming for the meal will also receive gift cards to purchase groceries, hats and scarves donated by the D.C. JCCs, and blankets bought with funds provided by a generous and regular volunteer (who also gave a significant amount to buy wrapping paper for them as well). On Saturday, Dec. 19, Denize Stanton-Williams, Loaves and Fishes’ director of operations, reported that in the previous week there had been many donors and volunteers coming to the program with food and other items and that the facilities had been busy with activity as preparations for Christmas were made. This included volunteers coming to wrap presents, she said.

“It’s been a fruitful end of the year for us – that we can touch so many different people,” said Stanton-Williams. “That means a lot.” She described multiple streams of giving this year to the program. “I’m just happy about that,” she added.

And there will be good news beyond Christmas for Loaves and Fishes as well: Stanton-Williams said she expects to have the food pantry up and running by the new year, which will allow the program to distribute grocery items weekly to people who come for prepared meals.

“We’re just fortunate – we’re really fortunate. I’m just happy,” said Stanton-Williams.

Bake an additional pie! Buy an additional pie!

Loaves and Fishes is accepting pie donations for its Thanksgiving meal. Pies can be delivered to the downstairs kitchen:

  • this Saturday and Sunday (November 21 and 22) until 12:30pm
  • Tuesday and Wednesday (November 24 and 25) from 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Washington, D.C. (ABC7) — A Washington, D.C., restaurant that went viral for its efforts to feed the poor and homeless is now asking the public for help.

When ABC7 did a story on Sakina Halal Grill in February 2019 – the owner, Kazi Mannan, said it changed his life.

Mannan said business was booming. The Pakistani grill saw an increase in both homeless and paying customers.

Now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, he faces big troubles.

“Business was doing very well,” Mannan explained. “Before COVID-19 hit, we were feeding 70 to 80 people free meals a day.”

His mission? Feeding D.C.’s homeless and needy population from his luxury restaurant without ever asking for a penny.

In a scary turn of events, Mannan says he’s barely able to feed himself. The business has found itself struggling to survive.

“We were closed for four months during the pandemic,” Mannan said. “Each time we would re-open, we sit all day with no customers. Eventually we would just shut down and let the employees go.”

The small restaurant went from 15 to only two employees. Sakina Halal Grill is in the same position many other small businesses are in.

“Right now we are in a bad shape and unable to pay rent” Mannan said. “I am unable to pay my mortgage.”

For five years, Mannan fed thousands of people who can’t afford a meal.

Beyond the delicious flavors you find, the warm Chai Latte or fresh lemon water, you would never know that homeless people are walking in and out to experience the same thing paying customers are.

“If someone says I need a free meal, OK,” Mannan said. He doesn’t ask questions and never judges anybody. His policy has remained the same for the last five years. If you’re hungry, poor or homeless, you eat for free. In 2018, he estimates they served over 16,000 free meals.

“That mission is very close to my heart,” Mannan said with tears in his eyes. “I don’t know how I can survive but that mission of feeding another human being who can’t afford a meal is very close to my heart.”

Sakina Halal Grill, which used to feed the homeless everyday, is now struggling to survive during the coronavirus pandemic. (Caroline Patrickis/ABC7)

With no other option, Mannan was forced to put a stop to giving away free meals because business is struggling.

I can’t feed anybody because I can’t feed myself in this situation” Mannan cried.

Mannan says he’s a person who doesn’t like to ask anything of anyone and now finds himself begging for help.

“Many restaurants are gone forever and right now it’s more important that we can continue the mission and carry the light.”

Mannan is asking for you to support his restaurant by purchasing a meal or donating.

Sakina Halal Grill set up a Gofundme which is asking for donations to help the business stay alive so he can continue feeding D.C.’s homeless.

Click here for more information.