The Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry was organized by six community
churches in 2005. Prior to this date, the only option for people who needed food
was to visit these various churches and make a plea for help. The number of
people visiting the food pantry has grown each year. A family with one to three
members receives one 18-item box of food, a generous portion of frozen meat,
bread, fresh vegetables and fruit when available. A family of four or more receives
double that amount.
The food comes from (1) MANNA FoodBank, which distributes food from a
federal program called The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and food donated by grocery chains; (2) local food drives sponsored by schools and churches; and (3) through direct purchase from our local Ingles grocery store.
We hold two fundraisers each year:
1. The Big Ol' Mountain Country Breakfast held on the Saturday of Independence Day weekend;
2. The Empty Bowls Event in October, with hand-turned pottery provided by volunteers, gourmet soups provided by local restaurants, silent auction and raffle.
The food pantry is staffed each Monday and Thursday from 4:30PM to 6:30PM by volunteers from one of twelve participating community churches on a monthly rotating basis. Volunteers from Fishes & Loaves meet twice-weekly to haul, unload, unpack, shelve and repack boxes for distribution.
The food pantry is generously supported and operated by the Cashiers community. It is a 501(c)(3) organization and functions entirely with volunteer labor.
The Board of Directors meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:00PM at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library.