In 2005, the Fishes & Loaves food pantry was organized by six community
churches. 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
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 and gourmet soups provided by local restaurants.
The food pantry is staffed each Monday and Thursday from 4:30PM to 6:30PM by volunteers from one of eleven participating community churches on a monthly rotating basis. Volunteers from Fishes & Loaves and the Cashiers Valley Rotary Club 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.