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.

Starting on June 28, the program will provide a hot meal on Sundays, although not at full capacity and still distributed outdoors (due to social distancing requirements, which remain in place). A cold lunch, as described above, will still be distributed on Saturdays. As the logistics and safety measures of this gradual resumption of normal operations, both behind the scenes (kitchen staff and limited number of volunteers) and for any other activities inside the building, are worked out and adjusted as necessary, it is possible that capacity for serving hot meals will increase.

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.