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Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes

"May you use the gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you."

- St. Therese
We are grateful for all the volunteers who join us in our work - including Paloma and Jorge (above), Watsonville High School seniors who helped with our Thanksgiving food distribution.
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Upcoming Events

  • SPEND THE HOLIDAYS WITH US! We need help packing and distributing holiday food bags (Dec. 18-21) and preparing and serving our festive Christmas lunch (Dec. 23-25) - see details below. Email Cecilia to sign up.
Wish List

  • One-size-fits-all Rain Ponchos
  • 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

Sharing Our Abundance
Thanksgiving 2019

Pantry Manager Jeanette Arias prepares for our Thanksgiving food distribution.

Every Thanksgiving, we provide poultry and staple foods through our pantry for in-home food preparation of holiday meals, as well as a festive communal meal at noon on Thanksgiving Day.

This year, our two-day holiday food distribution:
  • Served 562 households comprised of 2,025 individuals
  • Distributed 19,303 pounds of food
  • Provided 23,815 meals -  an average of12 meals per individual - just for the record – 17,861,197 nutrition-rich calories (Thanks Executive Director and Registered Dietician Joann Godoy for those calculations!)
On Thanksgiving Day, 109 guests joined us for traditional turkey dinner, enjoying food and fellowship. We thank the dozens of volunteers who joined us in our holiday efforts. We could not serve so many of our neighbors in need without your generous assistance.
Feed Our Community

Moveable Murals Find a Home at PVLF

Murals by local artists Tyler Reinhold (above) and Judy Gittelsohn (below) are on display at PV Loaves and Fishes.

As part of Executive Director Joann Godoy's efforts to beautify our Second Street facility and neighborhood, two murals by local artists Tyler Reinhold and Judy Gittelsohn were installed at PV Loaves and Fishes.

The murals, which were created in 2018 as part of the Moveable Murals partnership between Pajaro Valley Arts and the City of Watsonville, are on long-term loan. Reinhold's striking mural featuring birds was installed on the fence in the front yard, where it greets visitors on their way up our accessible ramp to the front door. Gittelsohn's colorful strawberry mural adorns the dining area.

We thank both the artists and PV Arts for sharing these pieces, for the enjoyment of our community and neighbors.

Annual Fundraiser Fills
Empty Bowls in Our Community

Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes hosted our 16th Annual Empty Bowls Dinner and Auction at the Lagoon House at Pajaro Dunes Shorebirds on Saturday, September 21st. The event raised over $124,000 to sustain our food pantry and kitchen programs throughout the year - making this our most successful fundraiser to date. Attendees viewed a slideshow commemorating Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes' 30th anniversary of service to the community prepared by local photographer and volunteer Roger Vail, with words by former Executive Director / current Board member Brooke Sampson.

Guests enjoyed appetizers catered by Monterey Bay Caterers, a selection of Hermitage Brewing Company beers, and local wines as they selected a hand-crafted ceramic bowl, browsed the raffle and silent auction tables, and listened to music by The Brian Quinn Group. Our Kitchen Manager Maria Gonzalez and her team of volunteers prepared a trio of homemade soups - including Maria's popular pozole - for dinner, which was accompanied by salad prepared with locally-grown lettuces donated by Dobler & Sons LLC. Attendees enjoyed fellowship with friends at colorful tables, decorated with floral arrangements provided by Second Bloom.

Past Board President JM Brown served as master of ceremonies. We recognized Andrew Garcia (see Volunteer Spotlight article below) as the recipient of our annual Bob Montague Volunteer Award. Patty Clark conducted a live auction to conclude the evening's program.

We are truly grateful to our guests for giving so generously and making the event such a success. 

MANY THANKS for Your Support of Empty Bowls 2019

Our annual Empty Bowls event is a community effort! We offer our sincere thanks to all our participating artists, sponsors, donors, and volunteers for making this year's event such a success. It is the generosity and support of our community makes our work possible.

Charlotte Colavin & Phil Ortiz
Enrique Mendoza
Phair Properties
Mary Solari
Taylor Farms

Lin Colavin
Corrine Flanagan & Rich Rubin
Melanie Kett Wirtanen
Dobler & Sons, LLC
Louis Jemison & Janice Manabe - Zen Bai Butoku Kai - MF Farming
McGee Family Fund
Bob & Beverly Montague
Wells Fargo

Equinox Wealth Management - Kristin Marinovic
Joann & Marcos Godoy
Jacob Young Financial Services
Ginny Solari Mazry
Paul & Marlyn Tashiro
Marcela Tavantzis & Jesse Plasencia
Marsha Zeitlin & Peter Bolton

Bank of America
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Greg Caput
Bonnie & Gerald Christensen
Community Life Services
Phillip & Peggy Crews
Dave & Sandy DeBoer
Elizabeth DelGrande
Adela Feran & J. Matt Wallace
Grace Galvan
Carol Heitzig
Alycia & William Kennedy
Lars Laslett & Laurie Winthers
California State Senator Bill Monning
S. Martinelli & Co.
Rowland & Patricia Rebele
Brooke & Warren Sampson
Sandbar Solar & Electric
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Santa Cruz County Bank

Facilities Sponsors
Monterey Bay Caterers, Ken Schwan
Pajaro Dunes Company
Pajaro Dunes North Association
Food, Beer & Wine Sponsors
Dobler & Sons, LLC
Grocery Outlet
Hermitage Brewing Company
Resurrection Catholic Community
S. Martinelli & Co.
Sanderlings Restaurant at Seascape Resort
Sumano’s Bakery
Windy Oaks Winery

Maria Gonzalez
Watsonville Police Department Chief David Honda
Mary & Tony Maciel
Mary, Jim & Heather McKenna and Corrine Flanagan
Rachelle Parks
Jeff Raimundo & Rebecca LaVally
Matt Ryan - Watsonville Firefighters Association
Watsonville / Aptos / Santa Cruz Adult Education - Jane Reyes 
4 Winds Growers
Lisa Angell
Allan Butler
Ericka Beck
Stanley & Maria Bispo
Chris Braccini
Byington Winery
Carol Campbell
Cecilia Cervantes
Jan Charles & Chris Jones
Bonnie Christensen
Lynn Clough
Lin Colavin
Cooper Garrod Winery
Kimberly DeLucia
Duckhorn Vineyards
George Dymesich
East End Gastro Pub
Arnulfo Figueroa
Corrine Flanagan
Friends of PVLF
Carmen Gagne
Judy Gittelsohn
Joann & Marcos Godoy
Hermitage Brewing Co.
Susan Howe
Imura Sushi & Korean Cuisine
Jean Johnson
Pam Kear
Liz Lyons Friedman
Lumar 4 Hair - Lupe Florez
Heather McKenna
Mary & Jim McKenna
New Leaf Community Markets
Palapas Restaurant y Cantina
Pelican Ranch Winery
Nancy Perkins
Nancy Quickert
Teresa Rodriguez
S. Martinelli & Co.
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Santa Cruz Warriors
Seascape Foods
Seascape Golf Course
Karen Shaffer
Skylight Place
Soif / La Posta
Spring Hills Golf Course
Staff of Life
Trader Joe’s
West End Tap & Kitchen
Windy Oaks Winery

Juliet Arnold
Chris Barker
Sandy Barker
Nan Beltran
Trudi Burney
Julie Christie
Sharon Coffey

Lin Colavin
Franco DiMajo
George Dymesich
Mary Knudsen
Katell LeBordronnec 

Julie Mariottini
Linda Müehlhauser
Nancy Perkins
Joan Peterson

Nancy Quickert
Jane Reyes
Kelsey Rice
Don Rich

Julietta Sabharwal
Gabi Salazar
Emma Sector
Erfan Soltanmohamundi

Billy Silavo
Susie Shook

Jerry Spodick
Terry Spodick
Jessamyn Tardiff
Brenda Townsend
Grace Townsend
Pam Wellish
Megan Werdmuller
Mika Young

Watsonville / Aptos / Santa Cruz Adult Education ceramic artists
George Dymesich, Santa Cruz campus
Jane Reyes
, Watsonville campus
Trudi Burney and ceramic artists Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild
Nancy Quickert and ceramic artists Montara, San Mateo County
Special thank you to all our Volunteers and Servers!
Ram Tipton, President
Brooke Sampson, Vice President
Lin Colavin, Secretary
Lars Laslett, Treasurer
Arnulfo Figueroa
Tony Gregorio
Jessica Liddy
Casey Wu
Jeanette Arias, Pantry Coordinator
Cecilia Cervantes, Operations Manger
Maria Gonzalez, Kitchen Manager
Joann Godoy, Executive Director

Honorary and Memorial Gifts

In Memory
Joan Somers by Dianne McDonnell
Tom O'Brien by Audrey Kim
Peter Ciccarelli by Billie Trawle
Byron by Albert and Anne Isaacs
James Rosewall by Ruth Rosewall
Family by James Ivelich
Esperanza Ortega Shingler by Rudy Ortega
Adriana Kell by Rabbi Richard Litvak
Cecile Mills by A. Richard and Patricia K. Anthony
Adriana Kell by Charles and Karen Greenleaf
Paul Parenti by JR Properties
Bob Fitch by Karen Shaffer
Judy Smith by Kerry Just
Judy Smith by Martha Stow
Judy Smith by Janet Parker
Judy Smith by Marvin and Jeannie Flores
Tom O'Brien by Sue and Michael Brandy

In Honor
Steven Henderson by Dan Carrillo
Chris and Steven Crowley by Jane Crowley
Glenn and Adele Eberhart by Paula and Rusty Leffel
Marc Godoy by Sharon Avery
PVLF Volunteers by Candice Elliott
Bob Montague by Michael Archer and Nan Montague-Archer
Watsonville Public Library Volunteers by Carol C. Heitzig
Marion Smith by Pilar Marien
Confidential by Maria Teresa and Juan A Rodriguez
Ralph Cistaro by Stanley and Maria Bispo
Robert Ley by Susan Cabral
George Kraw by Kraw Law Group
Dan Johnson by Robert and Marsha Tanner
Dan Johnson by Ed and Kathy Banks

Honor a friend or loved one with a gift to Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes.
Your donation will provide nutritious food to local community members in need, and your honoree will be recognized in our e-newsletter and receive an acknowledgment by mail.
Donations can be mailed to us at 150 Second Street, Watsonville CA, 95076, or made through our website.

Volunteer Spotlight
Annual Bob Montague Volunteer Award Recipient

Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia always serves with a smile.
Andrew Garcia is the recipient of this year's annual Bob Montague Volunteer Award. A life-long Watsonville resident, Andrew first started volunteering with PVLF in August of 2016, as a participant with Community Life Services (CLS), a local non-profit organization that advances community support and opportunities for people with disabilities. In the past three years, he has volunteered more than one thousand hours!

Andrew began volunteering alongside his Employment and Independent Living Specialist from CLS, washing and folding aprons and towels for PVLF at a downtown laundromat. He subsequently trained with staff on a variety of tasks around the facility. Andrew now volunteers independently, assisting staff with pantry food distribution, unloading food deliveries, stocking the pantry shelves, and washing the dishes after lunch service. He also helps train new volunteers.

“Andrew takes great pride in his volunteer work with PVLF,” says PVLF Board Member and CLS Program Supervisor Jessica Liddy. “He is a wonderful man that wants to give back to our community in a place where he feels valued and part of a team.”

Andrew was born vision impaired and is legally blind. His joyful spirit and incredible work ethic are an inspiration to everyone that he works alongside. “Andrew always arrives with a big smile and friendly greeting for everyone,” says PVLF Board Member and former Executive Director Brooke Sampson. “I really appreciate the positive energy and enthusiasm that he brings every time he serves.”

Andrew enjoys volunteering at PVLF because of his good bonds with fellow volunteers and program participants and because it “makes your day go faster.” He notes that he has gained new skills through his service, including better time management and the ability to work independently, with guidance from a written task list. His hard work and commitment to getting the job done earned him the nickname “Beast Mode,” after his favorite NFL football player, which he proudly wears on his PVLF nametag.

Andrew currently works for the Santa Cruz Seaside Company, in janitorial services. He also works at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds during special events. He looks forward to continuing to volunteer with PVLF, to “give back to my community.” A lifelong athlete, he is also pursuing a new challenge: training to join the Cabrillo College soccer team. Andrew inspires us all to embrace new challenges and enjoy every day. Thank you, Andrew!

Our annual volunteer award, recognizing dedication and significant contributions to our mission and the community we serve, is named in honor of Bob Montague, PVLF volunteer from 2000 to 2018. Bob was a key leader of the organization over the years, serving in many roles including Board President, Treasurer and bookkeeper, and interim Director. Throughout his tenure as a volunteer, he coordinated food acquisitions from Second Harvest Food Bank and managed our food inventory. For his leadership, his more than 35,000 hours of volunteer work, and his outstanding example of service, he was honored as a Community Hero by the United Way and a Hunger Fighter by Second Harvest Food Bank.

Volunteer Appreciation

This year’s record-setting Empty Bowls event would not have been such a success without the incredible efforts of event co-chairs and good friends Mary McKenna and Corrine Flanagan (pictured below).
Mary and Corrine are both long-time PVLF volunteers who volunteer weekly in the food pantry, greeting participants, completing intake forms, and preparing and distributing bags of non-perishable foods and fresh produce. Corrine is also a past board member and the 2016 recipient of the Montague Volunteer Award.  
Both Mary and Corrine have volunteered with the Empty Bowls committee for years. This year, they stepped up to serve as event co-chairs and took the event to a new level of fundraising success. They reached out to their friends and the broader community to increase sponsorship support and assemble a diverse array of popular live and silent auction items.
The Board and staff of PVLF extend our sincere thanks to Mary and Corrine for their fantastic work and their dedication to our organization and the people we serve.

Mary McKenna (left) and Corrine Flanagan.

Annual KPIG Humbug Hoedown
Benefits PVLF


The annual KPIG Humbug Hoedown kicked off the holiday season with a great show and a fine swine time. The concert, held Saturday, December 7th at Michael's on Main, featured the Carolyn Sills Combo and LOTS of special guests including Sharon Allen, Ginny Mitchell, Henry Chadwick, Hank & Ella and The Fine Country Band, KPIG's own Ralph Anybody, and an appearance by Santa!

Event proceeds will benefit Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes and the Food Locker for Low Income Pet Owners at the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Attendees also donated cans of people and pet food to support our neighbors in need this holiday season.

Thank you, KPIG and all the event attendees, for your generous support! 

Volunteer Opportunities

Turn your compassion into action.
Take a look at our opportunities and find where you can help!
Pantry, kitchen, and office shifts are available Monday through Friday. We especially need help in the afternoons.

HOLIDAY volunteer opportunities are also available:

Christmas Holiday Foods from our Pantry will be distributed
to 575 households:
Friday, 12/20/19 from 2:00 to 5:00
Saturday, 12/21/19 from 11:00 to 5:00
Please join us as we prepare and distribute these bountiful bags (Dec 18, 19, 20, 21)

We will serve a festive Tamale and Pozole meal on Christmas Day
Let us know if you would like to join us in preparing and serving these special holiday foods that give our diners a taste of home (Dec 23, 24, 25)

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-4:00pm

Contact us for more info or to sign up to volunteer!
Copyright © 2019 Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, All rights reserved.

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