|The Loaves & Fish Food Pantry,
located at The William M. Neece Center, is a resource provided by and for the Monroe County community specifically for individuals or
families who are either homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or in
Food for the pantry is donated from
local churches, individuals, food drives and from the USDA.
A Loaves & Fish
Food Voucher is required to receive food. Individuals must go to a
Monroe County social service agency or church and request a food
voucher for the Loaves & Fish Food Pantry. Individuals must qualify
their needs to the agency or church.
The Loaves &
Fish Food Pantry is open for food distribution Monday - Friday from
9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at 2221 Patterson Ave., Key
The Pantry serves people
regardless of religious, ethnic or political affiliation. Each
client is given approximately a three day food supply to supplement
other food resources. Clients are often referred to additional
community resources to meet their needs.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basisof race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office ofAdjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (voice). Individuals who arehearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
(photo courtesy of Chris Welts)
(KW) Feeding South Florida,
a not-for-profit organization, empowers other South Florida not-for-profit organizations to assist people in need and improve their lives by providing food and other grocery products; and by educating and engaging communities to fight hunger and poverty. Feeding South Florida makes weekly deliveries to the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition's Loaves and Fish Food Pantry, an anti-hunger initiative co-sponsored by St. Peter's Church and the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida. For assistance or information call 305-295-7580 .
Loaves and Fish Multiplies
A generous grant from Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida enabled the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry in Key West to open a second distribution site at
St. Peter's Episcopal Church.
(L-R) Rev. Sarah Fowler, Rev. Don Sullivan, and Rev. Stephen Braddock share the exciting news of funding with St. Peter's parishoners followed by a dedication of the expanded pantry.
(KW) Over ten years ago a common friendship with a local artist brought two Key West priests together and gave birth to a new ministry to help people in need of food.
The Rev. Paul Rasmus, then Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, was introduced by parishioner and friend, Keith Bland to Catholic Father Stephen Braddock. Braddock is President & CEO of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC).
Father Rasmus recruited Bland to chair the church's social outreach committee. Rasmus saw the need for a food pantry and wished to establish a program modeled after one he had been part of in a previous assignment. Rasmus shared his vision with Bland.
It was in that role and at that moment that Bland realized the opportunity to bring his two priest friends together for a common mission.
The Loaves and Fish Food Pantry was soon established with start-up funding provided by Episcopal Charities.
According to the Gospel of Luke "To whom much is given, much is expected." That has certainly been true for Loaves and Fish.
"Believing that all people in our community should be able to meet their basic hunger needs, and that we are called to share our resources, Loaves and Fishes' mission is to provide groceries and personal hygiene items to anyone in need," said Braddock.
In an effort to provide even more food to more people, the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry recently opened a second distribution site at St. Peter's Episcopal Church.
"While we are concerned about our ability to manage the kind of growth in need that we have seen as a result of these difficult economic times, we are also aware that the amazing spirit of generosity in our community has brought us through over a decade of collaborative ministry, and we have have faith that the strong partnership between FKOC and St. Peter's, and the support of Episcopal Charities, will get us through the tough times ahead," Braddock said.
November 18, 2010
Key West Mayor Craig Cates and City Commisioner Jimmy Weekley proclaimed November 18th Loaves and Fish Food Pantry Day to commemorate National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
Today is the 10th anniversary of the opening of the pantry, which provides food, personal care items, nutritional supplements, and disposable diapers to those in need. This vital service was started with the help of Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, and it continues to support the pantry, both with funds and bulk food.
"Without your support," Commisioner Weekley told Charities represenative Bonnie Weaver, "we would be really struggling."
The Florida Keys Outreach Coalition provides the facility and the funding for operational costs of the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry.
Rev. Sarah Fowler, City Commisioner Jimmy Weekley, Episcopal Cahrities of South Florida's Bonnie Weaver, Rev. Don Sullivan, Mayor Craig Cates, and Rev. Stephen Braddock acknowledge the 10th anniversary of Loaves and Fish Food Pantry and National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
St. Peter's Commemorates National Hunger & Homelessness Week
(photo by Stephanie Kaple)
Members of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Key West commemorated National Hunger and Homelessness Week (Nov 14-20) and celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry.
The pantry is sponsored by the congregation in partnership
with the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and support from Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida.
"Fed by the Feds"
Food Drive Benefits
Loaves and Fish Food Pantry
(photo by Chris Welts)
Naval Air Station Key West recently participated in the "Feds-Feed-Families" food drive, a White House initiative to help needy individuals and families in local communities.
Gina Pecora (R), Deputy Director of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, accepted 650 lbs. of non-perishable good from Chief Petty Officer
Jason Garcia and Petty Officer 3rd Class Josh Ware.
November 15 - 21 is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
(Rev. Braddock, Bonnie Weaver, Margaret Hudson)
"Two of the most basic human needs are a safe place to live and enough food to eat," insists FKOC President and CEO, Rev. Stephen E. Braddock.
There are an estimated 3.5 million homeless persons in the United States and the number is increasing. Also, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 35.5 million people - including 12.6 million children - live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one in ten households in the United States (10.9 percent).
Every year, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness cosponsor National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week one week prior to Thanksgiving, to help promote education, action and awareness about hunger and homelessness.
Here in Key West , Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida launched a new campaign. The " Feeding Our People " program kicked off the week long observation during the diocese's annual conference.
"I am extremely grateful to Episcopal Charities and St. Paul 's Church for over 9-years of collaboration and support addressing hunger in our community" Braddock said.
"Together we have provided aid for thousands of our most needy neighbors through the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry. By working to bring more attention to the plight of the homeless and hungry, we can each foster greater understanding and solidarity to end this national disgrace."
Episcopal Charities renews support for 2009.
Episcopal Charities Honored
Navy Steps Up To Feed the Hungry
Naval Air Station Executive Officer Mike Giardino and chief Petty Officer Joe Shellito prepare a box of food to load into an FKOC Van during the base's recent food drive. The food will be distributed to needy families and homeless individuals through FKOC's Loaves and Fish Food Pantry. Over 8 tons of non-perishable goods were donated.
May 9, 2009
United States Post Office
Letter Carriers Canned Food Drive
Men's Program Staff and Clients take a break after unloading over 2,600 pounds of canned and dry goods donated to Loaves and Fish Food Pantry by the United States Post Office from their Letter Carriers Canned Food Drive, May 9, 2009.
Postal Workers Deliver for Needy!
Volunteers at the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry take a break unloading nonperishable food collected from Key West Residents by United States Postal Workers on Saturday.
The pantry is an anti-hunger initiative co-sponsored by the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Local Postal Workers Collected over 9-tons of food for distribution to needy families in the community.
Food bill passes, helps homeless
By Alyson Crean firstname.lastname@example.org
Restaurants could assist food pantries
With a simple sentence the Florida Legislature could fill a few more empty bellies. A bill that adds restaurant meals to a list of foods that can be provided to the needy has passed both houses of the Legislature.
Named for the middle school student who started it all, the Jack Davis Florida Restaurant Lending a Helping Hand Act will allow food prepared by restaurants to be distributed to homeless shelters. Unless it is vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist, the bill would become law on July 1.
Already, perishable foods from grocery stores, bakeries and other retailers have been approved for donation. This bill adds to the definition foods that have been prepared at a public food service establishment licensed under state law.
I am very hopeful it will benefit the residential facilities, particularly those for women and children, said Rev. Stephen Braddock, executive director of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition for the homeless.
Social service budgets are getting hammered as the Legislature looks to shave billions off of the current state budget. A slowed economy has brought in less revenue than had been anticipated when the 2007-08 budget was crafted, and the Legislature is trying to play catch up.
The budget cuts will reduce our ability to purchase bulk food, said Braddock. I'm hoping, with this bill, that restaurants, caterers and private clubs might step up and help.
He said he'd like to see these businesses sponsor dinners to aid shelters.
Many restaurants and public food service establishments have expressed a desire to donate food to homeless service providers and shelters, said Lesa Weikel in a statement released Thursday. However, most have been reluctant to do so because of the liability that may result.
Weikel is a Tampa-based spokeswoman for the Florida Coalition for the Homeless.
Davis is likely one proud sixth grader. The 11-year-old student from the Ransom Everglades prep school came up with the idea as part of a social studies project after noticing the huge amounts of leftover food that restaurants and hotels throw away on a daily basis.
With the help of his attorney father, Davis was able to bring the idea to the attention of legislators, and the bill was born.
According to a story in the Miami Herald, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association supports the bill.
Hard Times Show
By Alyson Crean email@example.com
Food pantries report more families in need
A working mom with four kids entered new territory this week when she found herself at the doorstep of Glad Tidings' food pantry in Key West asking for help.
She said she is working, but her hours have been cut so she couldn't afford to buy food, said Kay DeLoach, who runs the bank with her husband Pastor Ernie DeLoach.
People are having to choose between paying the rent and buying food, said Marj Roberts, director of KAIR, or Keys Area Interdenominational Resources, in Marathon.
This week the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it would award Monroe County nearly $15,000 through an emergency food and shelter grant program.
That's up from the $14,000 granted last year, but Rev. Stephen Braddock says the grant was more than $60,000 several years ago.
Braddock, executive director of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, said demand is increasing on the Loaves and Fishes food bank in Key West as well. He pointed out a recent Wall Street Journal article showing demand on food banks has risen as much as 20 percent the past year.
Demand at Loaves and Fishes has gone up 20 percent in the last two months, Braddock said. We're serving about 90 families a month.
Glad Tidings serves at least 10 families a month, DeLoach said. That's on top of the 150 to 200 daily meals served by the church. Glad Tidings provides breakfast for the homeless every Tuesday and Thursday.
The St. Mary's Soup Kitchen in Key West has also seen an increase in demand, says director Angela McClain.
We've probably increased by 10 percent to 12 percent, she said. The soup kitchen is averaging between 80 and 100 meals a day.
Demand at the food bank run by St. Peter Catholic Church on Big Pine Key is on the rise as well, says the bank's director, Magda Trott.
We are only open three days a week, she said, and we have a steady stream of people. We see in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 people a day, and most of them are families.
Last year's FEMA grant was split among St Mary's Soup Kitchen, KAIR, HigherLove Mission Outreach in Marathon and Samuel's House, a women's emergency shelter in Key West.
Combined, those agencies served nearly 72,000 meals in 2007, said Elmira Leto, director of Samuel's House.
Many of the agencies that distribute food, either via kitchens or pantries, say they see the supply of food shrinking even as the demand grows.
Private donations and church support seems to be holding out better than government funding.
Roberts said the federal government went from distributing 261 million pounds of food nationally in one year to 16 million pounds.
KAIR distributes 3,000 pounds of groceries a month, Roberts said.
Even if your churches are being great, which they are, when you go through that much food a month, you're having to provide a lot of supplies.
New Foundation Development Director Visits FKOC
Margaret P. Hudson, newly appointed Development Director of Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, recently toured the FKOC food pantry and shelters.
Pictured here with FKOC President, Rev. Steve Braddock, Ms. Hudson renewed the foundation's commitment to "help fund ministries to transform lives."
Anti-Hunger Initiative Supports FKOC Food Pantry
FKOC Outreach Worker, Cecil Bain, welcomes a delivery of non-perishable food donated by the faith based anti-hunger organization "Daily Bread".
The group's truck makes the 150-mile weekly journey from the mainland to help stock the shelves of FKOC's Loaves and Fish Food Pantry as part of its mission to combat hunger in South Florida.
Episcopal Diocese continues to Support Food Pantry
(Photo by Margaret P. Hudson)
FKOC President, Rev. Stephen E. Braddock (L) accepts a $15,000 check from St. Paul's Church Interim Rector, Rev. Canon G. Kerry Robb (R).
Rev. Robb presented the contribution on behalf of
Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida.
FKOC and St. Paul's Church co-founded the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry in 2001 to assist needy individuals and families with food, personal hygiene items, and baby diapers.
Feeding the Multitudes
(KW) Rev. Stephen E. Braddock (L) President of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, accepts a check from Rev. David Wilt (R), Rector of St. Paul's Church.
The Homeless Coalition and St. Paul's cosponsor the Loaves and Fish Food Pantry. St. Paul's and the Episcopal Foundation of South Florida have contributed over $75,000 to the anti-hunger initiative since its 1999 inception. (295-7580 for pantry information)