Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes Newsletter

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Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes

        "Food for the body is not enough...
                                               There must be food for the soul."
                                                        - Dorothy Day

Kitchen Manager Maria Gonzalez and her team of volunteers unload a delivery of organic produce from High Ground Organic Gardens. Maria and her team of volunteers prepare and serve a nutritious lunch for over 120 every weekday.
What's Inside

Lakeside Organic Gardens

Nourishing Change in the Pajaro Valley

In keeping with our new Farm to Pantry movement here at Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes, we want to shine the spotlight on a local business that we truly could not operate our programs without – Lakeside Organic Gardens.

Lakeside Organic Gardens Marketing Communications Lindsey Roberts and
Owner Dick Peixoto pose in front one one of their many acres of production.

One of our most generous supporters, Lakeside Organic Gardens is highly committed to investing in the health and future of the Pajaro Valley. The largest family-owned and operated solely organic vegetable grower/shipper in the United States, Lakeside shows a genuine commitment to the health, wellness, and sustainability of the community, both locally and globally.

Organic collards grow in the central coast sunshine.

Earlier this season, some of the Loaves & Fishes staff and volunteers were lucky enough to make a brief morning visit to Lakeside’s land to capture a few photos and learn more about the ins and outs of organic food production. It was a beautiful morning, and we were immediately greeted by Lakeside’s Marketing and Communications expert Lindsey Robert. We learned that Lakeside produces over 45 different organic vegetables which are then shipped all across North America, even into Canada! After being introduced to a few Lakeside employees who were in the middle of harvesting some lush, leafy chard, owner Dick Peixoto arrived to check on his crops and welcome us personally.

Lakeside Organic Gardens employee enjoys working near the coast.

It was hard to believe we were onsite at the US’s largest family-owned and operated solely organic vegetable grower and shipper. The warm welcome we received made us feel as though we were at a small family farm, and it was clear that Dick has a relationship with each and every one of his employees.
Loaves & Fishes has since been lucky enough to create a partnership with Lakeside that includes the sharing of some of their fantastic, nutritious, original recipes, which we now distribute to our clients onsite in our Pantry. Additionally, we are proud to announce that, as of this month, we now distribute Lakeside Organic Gardens produce in both our Pantry and Lunch Programs, which is generously donated and delivered right to our front door, creating a true “Farm to Pantry” connection.

PVLF volunteer Lin Colavin prepares farm-fresh produce to serve in our noontime lunch.

This year, Loaves & Fishes is proud to announce Dick Peixoto as our Honorary Chair of the 12th Annual Empty Bowls Dinner and Auction, PVLF’s largest annual fundraiser. Held at Pajaro Dunes on September 19th, 2015, our theme, “Farm to Pantry”, will highlight the local farmers and other heroes who help feed us all. More information can be found further at
or by calling Kristal at 831-319- 4570.

Based on the interactions we have had with all the folks from Lakeside Organic Gardens, we highly recommend you seize the opportunity to meet Dick personally and find out just what an amazing company Lakeside truly is.

Volunteer Mark Godoy loads a delivery of organic broccoli delivered directly from Lakeside Organic Gardens. The broccoli will be prepared directly into our daily lunches as well as packed into our Pantry's grocery bags.

Thank you, Lakeside Organic Gardens! The work you do for the people and community of the Pajaro Valley and beyond is unmatched, and the Loaves & Fishes community is forever nourished and grateful.


AmeriCorps Position Available!

The search is underway for our next AmeriCorps volunteer!

Loaves and Fishes is looking for a passionate and dedicated individual to join our team as the
AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator for the next 11 months!

If you or someone you know is interested in serving the community through by working towards food justice, we would love to hear from you!

Click here to read the full job description and information on how to apply.
Save the Date!

Empty Bowls

Saturday September 19th 5pm-9pm


We invite you to join us for our 12th Annual Empty Bowls dinner and auction!  Since 1989, our Kitchen and Pantry Programs have provided nutritious food to the hungry people in our community. Our theme this year, “Farm to Pantry”, will highlight the local farmers and other heroes who feed us all.

Dick Peixoto, owner of Lakeside Organic Gardens,
the nation's largest family-owned and operated solely organic vegetable grower and shipper,
joins us as our Honorary Chair for the evening.

Pajaro Dunes, one of our generous sponsors, provides the location for this event at the beautiful Shorebirds Lagoon House on Saturday, September 19, 2015, from 5 to 9 pm. Each guest will select a beautiful, one-of-a-kind bowl created by a local artist especially for our event. Our guests will enjoy live music,
fine wines, gourmet appetizers, scrumptious salads and soups,and delightful desserts along with
exquisite silent and live auction items.


Celebrate with our friends and generous donors who provide time, fresh produce, groceries and much needed funds. Enjoy drinks from local vineyards and dinner incorporating locally-sourced foods. Have fun, build community, and invest in a healthy, nourished, sustainable future for the Pajaro Valley.

Click here for information about tickets and
sponsorship opportunities.


Whole Foods Partnership

We are proud to announce our new partnership with
Whole Foods Santa Cruz!

In our commitment to nourishing the community of the Pajaro Valley, we are actively expanding our connections to healthy food producers, growers, and merchants. Whole Foods Santa Cruz, a business clearly dedicated to nourishing change in the community, answered the call enthusiastically. This newly established partnership has lead to twice-weekly donations of delicious, freshly baked bread and other commodities. We distribute the bread directly to our program participants in our Pantry and Lunch Programs.
The bread is prepared with whole, natural ingredients, and is free from preservatives and artificial ingredients.

Volunteers Bob and Ralph happily unload freshly baked breads and other goods to be distributed in PVLF's Pantry and Lunch Programs.

Since there are no existing health food stores located within the Pajaro Valley, Loaves and Fishes is proud to provide the healthiest sources of food directly to those in need. We could not accomplish this amzing feat without generous community partners like Whole Foods.

Thank you, Whole Foods, for being our partners in nourishing change in our community!


Recipes from the Kitchen

Enjoy this recipe created by our partner Lakeside Organic Gardens!


Volunteer Spotlight

We would like to announce our May Volunteers of the Month:
The Bread Guys!

For this month, we decided on not just one, but an entire group of volunteers. This is because these volunteers truly serve Loaves & Fishes as a unit. Just as we could not serve our mission without them, they could not complete the task without each other!

The group now known as The Bread Guys began to form two years ago in May of 2013. A wonderful woman named Joann Godoy joined the Board of Directors and immediately noticed the constant issue with picking up our weekly bread donations from Food Maxx supermarket here in Watsonville. Luckily, Joann is married to an equally wonderful man named Marc, who she recruited to be our first regular Bread Guy. Since this time, the team has grown to be a group of friends, fathers and sons, consisting of Marc and Aaron Godoy, Ralph Gonzalez, Paul McGillicuddy, and Bill and Andrew Kell. Together, this awesome group of men delivers all of the bread that Loaves & Fishes serves to our clients right to our doorstep, multiple times a week.

Volunteer Mark Godoy unloads a daily donation of bread from our local
Food Maxx. Mark picks up and delivers bread to Loaves and Fishes
about three times per week.

Being a Bread Guy is no easy task. Not only does this group of men donate hours of their time (we have estimated that being a Bread Guy amounts to about a 10 hour per week position!), but they also give their resources and skills. All of our Bread Guys use their own personal vehicles to drive to Food Maxx and pick up all of the bread. They then drive to Second Harvest Food Bank to drop off the sweets that are part of the donation but that we no longer serve in an effort to provide more wholesome nutrition to our clients, then drive the remaining bread that Loaves & Fishes will use straight to our location on Second Street. Once a Bread Guy arrives at Loaves & Fishes, he always helps to unload and stock all of the bread, as well as fill out the necessary forms stating amounts of what specifically was donated, which of course involves counting a whole lot of bread!

Perhaps the most special and appreciated aspect of the Bread Guy team is that the Loaves & Fishes staff never has to worry or even think twice about whether or not our bread donation will make it to our location each day. This group of men is incredibly reliable, and when one of them can’t get the job done on his assigned day, they work it out among themselves to ensure that Loaves & Fishes receives the bread we need to feed our clients. The Bread Guys seem to have their system worked out to a T, and together they run like a well-oiled machine.

Loaves & Fishes is so grateful to our Bread Guys. Although their job isn’t glorious, it is truly essential to assisting us in serving our mission to feed those in need in the Pajaro Valley and beyond. It is these “behind-the-scenes” volunteers who truly deserve a shout-out. Our Bread Guys definitely aren’t doing it for the glory – most don’t think twice about how all of the bread ends up in our Kitchen and Pantry – they obviously do it because they believe in the mission of Loaves & Fishes and want to support us in our work, and this is a beautiful thing.

Thank you so much, Bread Guys! You are essential to Loaves & Fishes and all who we serve, and it is a pleasure
to see your smiling faces each and every week!

2015 Events

Mark your calendars- 2015 is sure to be an exciting year for Loaves and Fishes! We are building community, raising awareness, and serving more people than we ever have before. Join us for the events below, and stay tuned for more to come:
Copyright © 2015 Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, All rights reserved.

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