Loaves & Fishes
Our Minnesota free meal program began 36 years ago, in 1982, with one dining site each in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Today we serve over 2,700 meals daily, are present in seven Minnesota counties, and are the largest open-to-the-public free meal program in the state. We have steadily increased the number of free, healthy meals served to Minnesotans in need and are on track to serving one million meals annually beginning this year (2018).
We serve free, healthy meals to people in need in areas where that need is greatest. Our enhanced mission emphasizes nutrition in every meal, which includes a local farm-to-table approach during Minnesota’s growing season. We are always guided by our vision that all people, regardless of socioeconomic, cultural or ethnic background, deserve to meet their basic needs for food, dignity and respect. We serve without regard to religious perspective and do not engage in activities that promote any particular religious cause.
We offer a variety of healthy meal programs at more than 60 outlets:
· Open to the Public: We are the largest open-to-the-public free meal program in Minnesota. Today, we operate 27 dining locations in 7 counties opening our doors to anyone in need.
· Child Nutrition: Summer is our busiest time of the year when school is out. We serve nutritious meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). In 2018, we served 36,449 SFSP meals (a 15% increase over the year before) at 36 sites. Today, we serve CACFP healthy meals and snacks to children attending 7 after-school and youth programs.
· The HUB: As Minnesota’s first and only redistributor of Second Harvest Heartland food, we enable small nonprofits that offer programming outside hunger relief (ie. homelessness, trauma counseling, recovery, etc) to source just the right amount of food needed from our warehouse for the nonprofit’s in-house meal program.
· Street Outreach: We bring healthy, mobile meals to 10 urban locations for those who cannot get to our dining site locations because of homelessness, disability or lack of transportation.
To learn more and to get involved, go to: www.loavesandfishesmn.org