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Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience."
- James Beard
Remington Duque and his nephew Austin prepare colorful mixed green salads to accompany our Thanksgiving meal.
What's Inside
Make a Gift
Upcoming Events

  • Christmas Poultry and Toy Distribution - December 21st & 22nd
  • Christmas Lunch - December 23rd
Wish List

  • Hygiene Kit Items: New Pairs of Socks, Razors, Soap, Toothbrushes, and Toothpaste
  • Needed Foods:
    • Canned Chili, Stews, and Soups 
    • Ready-to-eat and pop-top canned goods
    • Protein bars

PVLF Thanksgiving Brings the Community Together

Dozens of volunteers assisted Kitchen Manager Maria Gonzalez in preparing and serving a traditional Thanksgiving holiday feast to over 150 of our neighbors in need. Our guests - including families with young children, farm workers, and elderly local residents - enjoyed visiting with each other while dining on turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, salad, bread, and pumpkin pie.

We appreciate all the volunteers and donors who made the meal such a successful and happy gathering, including the many volunteers that helped prep, serve, wash dishes, and clean up; local 3rd grader Killian Kumada-McGowan who made 25 drawings to welcome guests to our holiday meal; and the generous and thoughtful people who purchased an extra turkey or made multiple pies so they could share the bounty with local residents in need.

We thank S. Martinelli & Co. for their generous donation of apple juice and cider to accompany the holiday meal, which delighted guests of all ages. We also extend our appreciation to Watsonville Coast Produce for donating produce.

While it can be especially gratifying to serve those in need on a special day like Thanksgiving, hunger does not take a holiday. We invite you to join us in our hunger alleviation efforts any weekday throughout the year. It is your support that makes our work possible, giving nourishment to those in need and making our community a more caring place. For that, we are truly thankful.
Volunteers stand ready to serve over 150 holiday meals.


Special thanks to volunteer Roger Vail for taking photos at our Thanksgiving Distribution and Holiday Meal.

Partnership with Toys for Tots Brings Cheer to Children of PVLF

Again this year, Toys for Tots of Santa Cruz County is providing Christmas gifts for children ages 0-14 years from PVLF client families. These toys bring holiday cheer to families struggling to make ends meet. 

We thank long-time coordinator Delilah Valadez and her team of elves for bringing such joy to hundreds of children that we serve through our pantry program and thousands of other local children throughout Santa Cruz County. The toys that they collect, pack, and distribute are loving reminders that every child in our community deserves a merry Christmas. 

For information about where you can donate toys and how you can support Toys for Tots benefit events around the county, visit their website.

Watsonville Junior Wildcatz Provide Generous Holiday Support

The Watsonville Junior Wildcatz hold an annual "Turkey Bowl" flag football tournament to raise funds for Watsonville youth sports and a local charity. This year, the organization selected Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes as the beneficiary for the event. They also collected canned goods for our pantry.

The Junior Wildcatz donated $1,000 of their event proceeds and over 400 pounds of canned goods. Vice President Mirna Guerrero made the donation in honor of Brad Hubbard, long-time Athletic Director and teacher at Watsonville High School. Guerrero said, "He's an amazing man and such a community leader; he deserves so much for his selfless deeds."

Hubbard, a PVLF supporter for many years, nominated us as this year's recipient. "Without a wink, we thought it was a great idea," Guerrero said, "I personally helped at Loaves and Fishes with my family and friends for years for Thanksgiving before getting fully involved with this tournament. I've seen what the organization offers and the kind of help it provides the community. It was an easy decision to lend our support." 

Thank you to the Watsonville Junior Wildcatz and all the Turkey Bowl participants (including the winners, Team Canes, pictured above) for their generosity.

PVLF Board Welcomes New Members

We are pleased to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors.

Ram Tipton is a Senior Project Manager for Barry Swenson Builder. He and his wife and two children live in Watsonville.

Tony Gregorio has two law degrees and works as an Analyst for County Supervisor Greg Caput. He is a Watsonville native and resident.

Lars Laslett is a retired physician and Professor Emeritus of the UC Davis School of Medicine. He and his wife are residents of the Pajaro Dunes community.

Tipton, Gregorio, and Laslett join Lin Colavin as At Large members of the Board. Our newly elected Board officers are Joann Godoy, President; Candice Elliott, Vice President; Cathy Hsu, Treasurer, and Cita Rasul, Secretary.

We thank all our Board members for sharing their time and talents with our organization.

PVLF Thanks Eric Gonzalez for His Service

Eric Gonzalez joined the PVLF team a year ago, receiving a job training placement through the Center for Employment Training. He quickly became a valuable member of the team, lending his energy and talents to the pantry program and varied projects including the development of our new website and special events. 

When our long-time Pantry Coordinator Vicky Caballero relocated to Ohio, Eric capably stepped into the role on a temporary basis, while continuing his studies to become an Emergency Medical Technician. He has ably managed the hectic holiday season and the increased number of client visits that accompany the end of the agricultural harvest, working with our volunteers to maintain a smooth pantry operation. 

Eric has served our pantry clients with kindness, empathy, and compassion, not only providing food, but also assisting with referrals to other needed services, lending a sympathetic ear to people who needed someone to talk to, and helping clients carry their groceries out to their cars.

Having completed his course of study, Eric is now moving on from our organization to pursue career opportunities in the medical field. He is spending his last week on staff training our new Pantry Coordinator, Jeanette Arias. We wish Eric all the best in his new career, and we thank him for his positive presence and excellent service during his tenure with PVLF.

Volunteer Spotlight
Lupita Mock 
Continued Service to the Community in Retirement

Lupita enjoys her work in the kitchen and helps make sure the meal is ready on time.
Lupita Mock has been a Watsonville resident for over 30 years. She began volunteering at PVLF nearly one year ago, when she reached out to find a way to give back during the holidays. After retiring from her career as a nurse, she was looking for a new opportunity to be of service to the community.  We are incredibly fortunate that she decided to continue volunteering with our organization, helping in the kitchen twice a week. She has already contributed more than 400 hours working to feed others! 

Lupita always arrives early to help out in the kitchen in good spirits and ready to give her full efforts while working hard to better our organization. She assists with meal preparation and service, as well as kitchen clean up and dishwashing. Lupita expresses true joy in spending time with the generous hearts at PVLF who share a love of working together to provide homemade, nourishing meals. She also enjoys her interactions with our lunch program participants. Lupita notes, “The people are very nice, and very, very thankful. I’ve gotten to know some of them now after some time, and if I don’t see them for a while, they ask me where I’ve been!”

Not only has Lupita regularly contributed her time to assist the kitchen on a twice-weekly basis, but she has also participated as a volunteer for PVLF’s special events throughout the past year. She joined the volunteer “chef crews” to help cater PVLF’s annual Empty Bowl’s fundraiser dinner, as well as our Spring Reception and celebration of the Grand-Reopening of the house. At the Human Race last Spring, Lupita was a top champion for our cause, walking more than 5 miles to represent PVLF’s presence in the community and encouraging others to get involved with our mission to end hunger. Lupita’s ability to work hard and to find joy in her contributions makes her an excellent addition to our team. Thank you, Lupita!

Volunteer Opportunities

Turn your compassion into action.
Take a look at our opportunities and find where you can help!

Pantry Assistants
Mon-Fri  9:00am-11:30am


Kitchen Assistants
Mon-Fri 9:00am - 11:00am
1:00pm -  4:00pm


Lunch Service
Mon-Fri 11:30am -1:30pm

Operations & Facilities
Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm
Second Harvest Pick-Up and Delivery
Tues / Thurs 8:00am-9:00am: Select produce from warehouse and unload
Thurs 1:00pm-3:00pm: Receive delivery at Loaves and Fishes

Contact us for more info or to sign up to volunteer!

Christmas Distribution
Volunteer Opportunities

Wednesday & Thursday, December 21st - 22nd  

Get in the Christmas spirit by helping make it a happy holiday for our neighbors in need!

Help us distribute chickens, turkeys, and toys to hundreds of pantry client families.

***Sign up soo
n, as volunteer spots will fill up fast!***

1:00pm-5:00pm both days
Set-up and distribution
(831) 319-4570
Copyright © 2016 Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, All rights reserved.

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