Loaves and Fishes in Alamance County
Loaves and Fishes is a “local independent ecumenical food ministry” Christian run charity organization based out of Burlington, North Carolina. Its headquarters is located in Alamance County and extends into the 5 surrounding counties of the area. The organization offers groceries for families who need help in the local community.
Mission Statement:“The mission of Loaves & Fishes Christian Food Ministry, Inc. is to offer assistance, encouragement and empowerment of persons in need through the distribution of food and limited financial assistance without regard to race, gender, orientation or social economic status in the name and spirit of Christ. It is our conviction that persons can better fulfill their potential when offered a helping hand.”
It is thanks to the many volunteers and donations that Loaves & Fishes exists. There are numerous volunteering opportunities, and training is required from some positions. There is a training process for volunteers at 9:00 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at the Melbane locations for those wanting to help by interview those applying for food services. Volunteers can also help by stocking shelves of food, loading vehicles, home delivery, and special events held by the organization.
One example of a group volunteering activity is the “Lunch Brunch”. This activity consists of making and delivering bagged lunches to clients and children who live in subsidized housing. More information can be found on the loaves& fishes website. This activity offers a variety of opportunities that volunteers can participate in.
The Local Community:
Loaves & Fishes is very integrated into the local community. Other organizations in the area support it with donations, and do projects together to help further the charity. For example, in September, the Alamance County YMCA offered a discount to their joining fee, down to 25$, if you brought 10 canned goods to be donated to Loaves and Fishes. This is just one of the many examples of the support that members of Alamance County provide to the organization.
The following 11 churches originally founded the organization:
- Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church
- Davis Street United Methodist Church
- Ebenezer United Church of Christ
- Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter
- First Baptist Church (Apple Street)
- First Baptist Church of Burlington
- First Christian United Church of Christ
- First Presbyterian Church
- First Reformed United Church of Christ
- Front Street United Methodist Church
- Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church
The founding of the organization can also be credited to the generous donations of those like Rich and Becky Gabrielli, who’s gift help start Loaves & Fishes.
By Alamance County offering this kind of assistance to the community creates a bond with the members of the area, while also supporting one another. The applicants don’t need a referral to apply for food assistance. When donations from the community and local grocery stores don’t meet the demand, the ministry purchases food from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina in Winston-Salem.
“Loaves & Fishes accepts any edible food except that which has NOT been commercially processed. We have a commercial cooler and a commercial freezer for the proper storage of perishable food items. We accept food that is out of date as long as it is edible.
We can use the following:
· Any nonperishable food in cans, boxes or bags
· Perishable food in good condition
· Frozen food
· Fresh fruits and vegetables
· Baby formula and food
· Toilet paper
· Diapers (infant and adult)
· Cat and dog food
Applying for Food:
A family can apply for food at two different locations:
509 South Lexington Avenue, in Burlington
408 West Center Street, in Mebane
The applicant must be at the location by 9:00 AM on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and must have a few items to apply. These items include a photo ID (drivers license), two different current utility bills with the name and address on the applicant, social security number, birthdate, income, expenses, and names of everyone in the household.
The organization’s website provides information about their events, volunteering, their mission, their founding, and much more. They provide clear instructions for those interested in volunteering and a user-friendly calendar that shows their upcoming events for those who would like to become involved. They also show a map and directions of where the events are, making the process very easy for potential volunteers.
The organization is also active on social media. Click here to follow Loaves & Fishes on Facebook. They update their page with events they hold and post pictures of their activities.
This statement is directly from Loaves & Fishes site concerning their twitter page:
“We love working with you to promote the well-being of Alamance County’s citizens. So let’s keep in touch online! Our new Twitter account allows us to stay in the loop; we not only share our own efforts, but also gain insight into the community’s collective sounding board for concerns, ideas and goals. Together, we can help our neighbors in need. Access our news, photos and musings at twitter.com/LoavesAlamance. Just click “Follow” and our updates will start to appear in your timeline! To share ideas or thoughts directly with us, start a Tweet with “@LoavesAlamance”, or click the reply arrow at the bottom of the Tweet you want to respond to.”
"Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry - Groceries for Neighbors in Need - Charlotte, NC."Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry - Groceries for Neighbors in Need - Charlotte, NC. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.loavesandfishes.com/>.