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Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes

"Preparing food and feeding people brings nourishment not only to our bodies but to our spirits. Feeding people is a way of loving them."
- Shauna Niequist
Kitchen Manager Maria Gonzalez serves a hearty, nutritious meal of beef and vegetable stew, Spanish rice, and mixed green salad.
What's Inside
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Upcoming Events

  • Thanksgiving Poultry Distribution - November 22nd
  • Thanksgiving Lunch - November 24th
Wish List

  • Juicer for our Kitchen
  • Farm Donation Pick-up Volunteer (Monday afternoons)
  • Needed Foods:
    • Canned Chili, Stews, and Soups 
    • Ready-to-eat and pop-top canned goods
    • Protein bars

Seasonal Rains Increase Program Participation

Now that the much-needed fall rains have arrived, participation in our pantry and lunch programs is beginning to climb. While our programs are a crucial safety net for many local residents year-round - including elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals and working poor families - it is during the agricultural off-season when our assistance is needed most.

Beginning in mid-October, we have been serving up to 120 people daily in our lunch program and as many as 60 households per day through our pantry. This seasonal increase highlights the prevalence of food insecurity among our local farm worker population.

As work in local agriculture winds down for the season, our service level will continue to increase to meet the need for food assistance in our local community. In the winter, visits to our pantry double and the number of meals we serve increases by 40%.

Whether you can donate funds, food, or time, your support makes a difference in the lives of the thousands of local people we serve. Thank you for your generosity. This is when the need for our services is greatest.

Kitchen volunteer Brittany Loisel, past Board President J.M. Brown, Kitchen Manager Maria Gonzalez, and Senator Bill Monning serve chile verde for lunch on a rainy day.


Are you passionate about our mission? Want to join us on the front lines of the fight against hunger in the Pajaro Valley?

We are currently interviewing applicants for our Pantry Coordinator position. The position is full-time (40 hours per week, Monday through Friday) and pays $15.50 - 16.25 per hour. This staff member provides direct service to local residents in need during the course of over 8,500 pantry visits each year, doing client intake, packing bags of groceries, screening clients for CalFresh program eligibility, and providing referrals to other needed services. Qualified candidates will be bilingual / biliterate in Spanish, with excellent customer service skills, strong organizational skills, and some experience with computer applications and data entry. The position requires lifting, stocking, and packing boxes of food.

We are also seeking an AmeriCorps volunteer to coordinate volunteer services. Responsibilities include volunteer outreach, recruitment, orientation, communications, and appreciation. This is a great opportunity to gain skills and hands-on experience for a career in the non-profit sector. AmeriCorps volunteers receive a stipend and health benefits and are eligible for an education award upon completion of their term of service, which can be applied toward college tuition or repayment of student loans. A high school diploma and fluency in Spanish are required for this position.

Please help us spread the word about these job openings. Interested candidates can email for a full job description and additional details. Our goal is to fill these positions in November.

Protein Donations Boost the Nutritional Quality of Our Meals

With the generous support of our donors, we will be able to provide additional nutrition to clients of our lunch program this fall and winter. We raised over $18,000 at our Empty Bowls event in September to purchase meat and other protein-rich foods for our lunch program. We have been purchasing items such as eggs and ground beef with these funds.

We also greatly appreciate the food donations we receive from generous local donors, such as a Watsonville resident who recently donated 73 pounds of pork for Chef Maria to prepare her popular chile verde (pictured above). Our clients really enjoy such hearty entrees, especially as the weather turns rainy and cool.

For many of our clients, the lunch they share with us is their only hot meal of the day. With the support of our donors, we are providing delicious, satisfying meals filled with both healthy veggies and protein to sustain our hungry neighbors.

Volunteer Feedback Survey

Whether you've volunteered at PVLF for ten hours or ten years, your
feedback ensures that we can support our incredible team of do-ers in
our efforts to end hunger! Your opinion is invaluable to us, in better understanding the experiences of our diverse volunteers.
Please share and help guide us in making program improvements.
The survey deadline is Friday, November 11th.
Respondents will be entered in a drawing
for a PV Loaves & Fishes t-shirt!

Please Complete Our Volunteer Survey
Your comments are anonymous!

Volunteer Spotlight
Jesus Ayala 
Commitment to Service

Jesus rolls a full load of non-perishable pantry foods up the ramp to prepare for the
next day's busy grocery distribution!

Jesus Ayala began volunteering at PVLF this fall to get involved with community efforts to end hunger, and his enthusiasm for service has been an inspiration for everyone who has worked alongside him in the past month! Jesus spent his first volunteer day helping wash dishes and deep clean the kitchen mats. Near the end of the afternoon, he walked in to the Pantry to ask what else he could do to help. The produce crates had already been put away, the grocery bags had been packed, and the shelves had already been re-stocked. Jesus glanced at the carpet, scattered with bits of broccoli crowns and onion skins and knew just what to do. “I love vacuuming!” Jesus exclaimed, wholeheartedly and genuinely excited to fire up the vacuum he had noticed in the corner. In that moment, it was clear that he would be a wonderfully proactive volunteer! 
At age 19, Jesus expresses his dedication to his community in his current work toward becoming a firefighter. He spends time volunteering with a local fire department while progressing towards his goal, and he brings this compassion for helping others to PVLF, enthusiastically assisting in our mission to feed those in need! Since his first day, he has consistently arrived to help with afternoon dining area clean-up efforts, as well as assisting the Pantry during our busy grocery distribution season. He works in great cooperation with the entire volunteer team, and his attitude makes him a leader and role model in making others feel comfortable and capable of contributing their help. Thank you, Jesus, for bringing your energy to PVLF to help make a real difference!

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 Colleen for more info or to sign up to volunteer!

Thanksgiving Day
Volunteer Opportunities

Thursday, November 24th 

Are you considering spending your Thanksgiving holiday with us to help serve a nourishing feast to our community?

Experienced PVLF volunteers are encouraged to sign-up for one or multiple shifts!

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

Dining area set-up and decorating

Lunch Service and dish washing

Dish washing & clean-up
(831) 319-4571
Copyright © 2016 Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, All rights reserved.

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