By Kimberly Paulk, SHARECharlotte.com, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits
“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” – Buzz Aldrin
The Loaves & Fishes warehouse is tucked away in an industrial park just off Griffith Road. Small signs mark the way, but still you feel you’ve accomplished something when you find it.
As ordinary-looking as the warehouse is from the outside, once you enter you realize how much work happens there for the community. Surrounded by pallets and shelving stretching to the high ceilings, all filled with food, the magnitude of the need in Charlotte becomes clear.
Hunger is a very real problem in our community, as the folks at Loaves & Fishes know well. In fact, 48% of the people they feed are children. As a network of emergency food pantries, the organization meets food needs brought about by a crisis situation. Because Loaves & Fishes views their mission as providing a hand up during a crisis, clients are screened to determine need and may only visit a pantry once every 45 days to prevent dependency.
Loaves & Fishes’ core value is that access to nutritious food is a fundamental human right. That steers the extraordinary work they do in getting food to their clients, and much of that work is done by nearly 4,000 volunteers, who help with everything from stocking food and manning the pantries to answering the phones.
Interested in getting involved? There are a number of ways you can help, and many of them are family friendly. See a few options below, and remember to visit SHARE Charlotte for more information.
Sort food donations at the warehouse – Great for groups of up to 15 people, and kids can be involved with a responsible adult.
Answer phones – The Phone Center is open Monday through Friday. Volunteers work in 3 hour shifts to receive phone referrals from social service agencies and schools.
Donate food – Check the Priority Needs list for the items most needed by the food pantry. Hunger is a year-round problem. Donations are welcome during summer months as well.
Send Holiday cards – For a minimum donation of $10 per card, Loaves & Fishes will send holiday cards to the special people on your gift list this year.