On June 15 1983, Loaves and Fishes, Inc. was started by a group of 18 churches and social organizations and began serving meals at Nativity. It started in response to the lingering effects of a sour economy. For thirty-seven years, contributions of food, volunteer hours, and funds have continued making it possible for Loaves and Fishes to operate without interruption while serving well over two million meals.
Loaves was founded based upon the heart and souls of people caring for people. The kitchen was small, and the cooking tools were minimal, think short stirring spoons and old pots. Lack of shelving and refrigeration meant that Loaves had to purchase supplies day by day to fulfill their one goal of feeding hungry people. In the beginning, about 15 to 20 people a day would come to eat, funds were low, and the need was constant. The churches, social organizations, and city officials would come to volunteer and even to eat, often leaving donations under their plates, sometimes as much as $100.00. Most of those founding churches and social organizations continue to donate or volunteer today. Some individuals’ who volunteered from day one also continue to volunteer today.