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Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes

"There is no 'them' and 'us,' there is only 'us.'"
- Father Greg Boyle, Homeboy Industries
Rosemary and Bob have been friends for years, since Bob started volunteering at Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes in 2000.
What's Inside
Make a Gift
Upcoming Events

  • SAVE THE DATE! Community Reception at Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes - Thursday, May 11th, 5:00-7:30pm
  • SAVE THE DATE! Chef Jesse Plasencia's Pop-Up Dinner to Benefit PVLF at El Alteño Restaurant in downtown Watsonville - Thursday, June 1st
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
Volunteer Angeli Jimenez serves up a colorful plate of food on Valentine's Day.

Food Is Love

On Valentine's Day, Chef Maria, volunteer Chef Patrick, and the kitchen crew prepared a special lunch of beef fajitas, black beans, guacamole, and mixed green salad. For a treat, we served ice cream for dessert! We thank supporter Curt Wilcox for donating several flavors of ice cream and an anonymous donor for contributing the money to purchase the meat and vegetables for the fajitas. We had 114 guests for lunch, who really appreciated the delicious holiday meal.

When prepared and served with care, food is love. The meals we provide every day are a loving reminder to our program participants that there are many people who care for them and want them to be well. Our dedicated volunteers and staff are the helping hands and smiling faces that transmit this love for our community from our you, our donors and supporters, to the individual people who benefit from your generosity.
Our work providing healthy meals and groceries to local residents in need is only possible with your support. Thank you for joining us in our vision of a well-nourished Pajaro Valley community.
Feed Our Community

PVLF Welcome New AmeriCorps Volunteer

Sara Muñoz, AmeriCorps VIP Fellow at Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes
We are proud to introduce our new AmeriCorps volunteer, Sara Muñoz. Sara started volunteering with us in June, 2016, through the Sueños youth job training program, helping in the pantry two days a week. She chose PVLF as her job training site because she had eaten lunch here and wanted to support our work as a volunteer.

Sara impressed us with her diligence, cheerful disposition, and compassionate service to our program participants. Pantry Coordinator Jeanette Arias observes, “Sara is a hard worker with a sweet, bubbly personality. She’s always smiling. It’s nice to work with her.” When we had an opening for a new AmeriCorps volunteer, we asked her to consider the position.

One of Sara’s friends recently had a positive experience as an AmeriCorps VIP Fellow with the Volunteer Infrastructure Program (VIP) coordinated by the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center - which focuses on strengthening local non-profit organizations through volunteer engagement - and encouraged her to apply. “I was excited about having another opportunity to be here at PVLF, more hours a week,” Sara says. “I like being here and helping other people in need, people from Watsonville. I can relate to them.”

Sara is a recent graduate of Watsonville High School (Class of 2015). She is currently studying art at Cabrillo College and exploring art-related careers. We are thrilled to have her as a full-time member of our team through August, coordinating Volunteer Services.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can reach Sara at or 831-319-4571.

Honorary and Memorial Gifts

In Memory
Ann Antos by Gary & Denise Tolley
Ann Antos by Patricia Reeder
Ann Antos by Alice Bowe

In Honor
Lupita Mock by Rudolph Pedulla

Thanks to Newman’s Own Foundation for Their Support

Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. The award to Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes was made by Newman's Own Foundation as a part of its commitment to address issues of fresh food access and nutrition education.

The grant to Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes will be used to continue our work providing healthy meals and groceries to Pajaro Valley residents struggling with hunger. 

"We are so grateful for Newman's Own Foundation's generous support of healthy food access in the Pajaro Valley," says Executive Director Brooke Sampson. "This grant will help us serve thousands of local residents in need."

Newman's Own Foundation, working to nourish the common good by donating all profits from Newman's own food products to charitable organizations that seek to make the world a better place. More information is available at

Volunteer Update
Jorge Torres

Jorge Torres, our January Volunteer of the Month
Last month, we recognized Jorge Torres for his excellent volunteer service at PVLF through the Peninsula Family Services job training program for low-income individuals 55 years of age and older. As part of their training program, participants in Peninsula Family Services pursue job leads and report on their job search progress twice a month. Our staff serve as references for participants' job applications. We are happy to report that Jorge was hired as a part-time employee at Severino's Bar and Grill, located in the Best Western Seacliff Inn in Aptos, where he is working the dinner shift.

On his last day, Jorge shared with us, "It was a blessing to have a job through Peninsula Family Services. I wouldn’t trade my experience working at Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes for anything. I got to know more about people in need and learned how to treat them. Seeing them with a smile after they ate lunch made me feel really good inside. Working in the kitchen at Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes definitely helped me get my new job at Severino’s Restaurant in Aptos. I really thank Sajohn Dulfon from Peninsula Family Services and Brooke and Bob from Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes for helping me. I’ll never forget this job. I’m really going to miss Loaves and Fishes. I’ll keep it in my heart." He hopes to occasionally volunteer at PVLF in the future.

We are proud to have helped Jorge on his path to new employment. We thank him for his service at Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes and wish him all the best in his new position. If you have dinner at Severino's, look for his smiling face!

An Opportunity to Give Back

Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes is not just a social service agency; we are also a community. We strive to express our shared values of service, compassion, and justice in our work every day. It is our goal to maintain an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere where all community members are valued and nourished.

Many of the people who participate in our food assistance programs value the opportunity to give back to the organization and serve others. Some volunteer in the pantry or the kitchen for a half- or full-day shift on a regular schedule. Others pitch in to help us unload food donations or fold up chairs after lunch service. Whether their service is on-going or spontaneous, we appreciate their assistance.

Seeing fellow participants volunteer can inspire others to volunteer as well. Just this week, a lunch program participant named Gabriel told us, "What you guys do is awesome. I was observing everything and I thought, I don't have anywhere to be right now. I can stay and help." He did, and he returned the next four days as well, to help us set up the dining area, pick up food at Second Harvest Food Bank, and wash dishes. Catching up with an old friend from his high school days at the dish washing station, Gabriel said, "The people here are so appreciative. I love it here."

Where there is reciprocity of giving and receiving, there is belonging, community, and nourishment for the spirit. We love it here too.

Volunteer Spotlight
Jonathon Riviera

Jonathon Riviera washes dishes during lunch service.
Jonathon Riviera is a 21 year old local Pajaro Valley resident. He started volunteering with PVLF in September 2016 after hearing about our organization from a staff member at Community Connection. Community Connection, a program of the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center located in downtown Watsonville, empowers adults with psychiatric disabilities and their families with the tools and resources they desire to build stronger community bonds and improve their lives. They encourage program participants to volunteer independently as one way to discover their gifts and reach their full potential. 

Jonathon has given over 250 hours of services over the past six months. He usually volunteers three days a week. He sets up and cleans up our outdoor dining area, washes the many dishes and trays it takes to feed up to 150 people daily, and stays to help tidy up after lunch service.

We have enjoyed getting to know Jonathon over the past several months. Pantry Coordinator Jeanette Arias notes, "Jonathon is quiet, but he gets a lot done!" Kitchen Manager Maria Gonzalez nominated Jonathon as our Volunteer of the Month, in recognition of his hard work and good attitude. "When he finishes a task, he checks in with me to ask what he can do next. I really appreciate him."

Jonathon says he enjoys volunteering at PVLF because there is a lot to do and the "time goes by fast." He likes helping out and meeting new people in the community. He is also gaining work experience and job skills that he thinks will help him in future positions. Jonathon is interested in working in landscaping.

We thank Jonathon for being a part of our team. We truly appreciate his service to our community.

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

We especially need help on Thursdays and during afternoon shifts.
We also need a volunteer to do kitchen laundry (aprons and towels) on Wednesdays. Location and schedule are flexible.

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

Operations & Facilities
Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:00pm
Pick-Up and Delivery of Food Donations
Tues / Thurs 8:00am-9:00am: Select produce from Second Harvest warehouse and unload at Loaves and Fishes
Tues 1:00pm-2:00pm: Receive and store Second Harvest delivery at Loaves and Fishes
We also need a volunteer to pick up weekly donations at Whole Foods in Santa Cruz and deliver them to PVLF (Monday mornings).

Contact us for more info or to sign up to volunteer!
Copyright © 2017 Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, All rights reserved.

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