Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes Newsletter

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Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes

"The presence of good food makes positive changes in all of our lives."
                                                                                - Erin Kayser

PVLF volunteer Ralph Cistaro stands among a sea of boxed produce at the
Second Harvest Food Bank Warehouse. PVLF volunteers visit the warehouse twice a week to hand pick produce for distribution in
our Kitchen and Pantry Programs.

What's Inside

Empty Bowls

Saturday September 19th 5pm-9pm


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.



 Partner Highlight -
Healthiest Food Bank

Loaves and Fishes' successful work cannot be done without our radical partners in change- farmers, agencies, and businesses that are working collaboratively with Loaves and Fishes to create a more equitable food system in the Pajaro Valley.

Much of the farm-fresh produce that is distributed in our Pantry bags and used in our healthy lunches is provided by the
Second Harvest Food Bank.

SHFB driver unloads part of a weekly delivery of produce and non-perishable staple foods in front of our 2nd St. location.

Recently, our local Second Harvest Food Bank has been named one of the top three food banks in Feeding America’s nationwide network to distribute the highest percentage of fresh produce. Through their network of 200 local agencies (including Loaves and Fishes!), the SHFB distributed over 8,000,000 pounds of fresh produce to residents all over Santa Cruz County
in the past 12 months.

At the SHFB warehouse, PVLF volunteer Bob Montague loads a cart of "Shop Smart" items destined for distribution in the Loaves and Fishes Pantry.
"Shop Smart" is a program through which Second Harvest is able to purchase high demand staples such as peanut butter, black beans, rice and tuna at wholesale prices, and in turn, provide these items to their partner agencies at a low cost. Loaves and Fishes spent $32,000 this past 12 months
purchasing Shop Smart items from the SHFB.

Loaves and Fishes "shops" for fresh produce and other quality food items twice at week at the SHFB warehouse, located just a few blocks away from our facility in Watsonville. Additionally, Loaves and Fishes receives custom-ordered deliveries of purchased staple goods and quality produce from the Food Bank once a week. All of the produce made available by the SHFB make it possible for Loaves and Fishes to serve farm-to-table inspired meals every day in our Kitchen and Pantry Programs.

PVLF staff Maria and volunteer Rachel chop colorful fresh veggies
provided by the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Find the full article of SHFB's recent recognition here.

Thank you Second Harvest Food Bank, and all of your efforts to nourish change in the Pajaro Valley!


Recipes from the Kitchen

Enjoy this yummy seasonal recipe from our
Empty Bowls Dinner Sponsor Lakeside Organic Gardens!

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteers of the Month: The Elders!

Elder Barbosa and Elder Sundrud wash trays after lunchtime.

Here in Watsonville, there are four Mormon missionaries placed: two young women and two young men. As part of their service, they are encouraged to volunteer with local nonprofits, which is how we have met them here at Loaves & Fishes.

The Elders are excellent, consistent volunteers who bring a positive attitude to Loaves & Fishes. Aside from their smiles and jokes, the Elders come with incredibly helpful skills - they all know Spanish or are in the process of learning, so they are able to help a lot to serve our majority Latino client base.

Aside from helping in our Pantry Program once a week, the Elders also come on Thursday afternoons to help unload, sort, and stock our weekly food order from Second Harvest Food Bank, always with a smile and positive attitudes!

We truly appreciate the skills and consistency that these young men bring to our organization, and we could not serve our mission without volunteers like them. Thank you, Elders! Your genuine care and generosity is greatly appreciated by
Loaves & Fishes and all who we serve.

Upcoming Events

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