Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays
In March of 2020 Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays merged to strengthen their capacity to tackle all the faces and phases of food insecurity in Charlotte. This is a merger of two strong, healthy and historic equals who saw this as an opportunity to have a greater impact in meeting the ever escalating hunger needs of individuals and families, in response to the global pandemic and its continuing impact on our economy.
Mission: Since the mid-1970s, Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays have shared the belief that access to nutritious food is a basic human right for everyone in our community.
Vision: Addressing food insecurity is crucial in providing economic opportunity and is part of a holistic approach to improving life for everyone in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Population Served: At-risk individuals and families.
History: Loaves F was founded in 1975 by a handful of community members struck by a relatively new phenomenon in Charlotte –hungry people. There was no coordinated effort to address the issue at the time, so concerned lay people came together and created the first LF pantry at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, feeding 1,000 people that year. LF has never turned away anyone due to lack of food and is a nationally recognized model. In 2014, LF served 78,602 people in Mecklenburg County, and 48% were children.
Approach: Loaves & Fishes provides nutritious groceries for neighbors in need. Friendship Trays delivers healthy meals to the elderly and infirm. Combining forces allows for distribution of more food to more people in more places in more efficient ways, with less waste. By increasing access to fresh, healthy food, this new organization will make sure that everyone’s hunger needs are met in the way that they need it.
If you would like to learn more about Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays and the many ways to support this organization, Please visit www.friendshiptrays.org and www.loavesandfishes.org for more information about volunteering or making a financial donation. Or email Genie Richards, Local Outreach Coordinator at GRichards@myersparkpres.org.