Silicon Valley Partner of the Month - February

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Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen

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Many families ask us about volunteer opportunities where their kids can serve clients directly and experience the gift of a smile or “thank you” in return. Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen is one of those places!

Families with children over 10 can help with every aspect of food service; from preparation, serving the meal, pouring drinks, and helping with clean up after service. Volunteers interact directly with guests which includes families, children, seniors, veterans, and the homeless (all opportunities detailed below).

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 children in the Bay Area are hungry; the national average is 1 in 6.

  • In Silicon Valley, a family making $117,000 is considered “low income.” The people served by Loaves and Fishes earn an average of $20,000 per year.

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The mission of Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen is to provide hot nutritious meals that are prepared, delivered and served to low-income families, disadvantaged individuals with a special concern for children, families, seniors, veterans, students, disabled, and those experiencing homelessness.

With the goal of being an inclusive organization, Loaves & Fishes welcomes volunteers and guests of all ages. Because they serve children and families, a friendly face from a peer makes the guests feel more comfortable during service.

“It has been a great bonding experience for me and my son, and it has been an honor and pleasure getting to know the wonderful people we are serving and the people serving them. I look forward to my days volunteering at Loaves & Fishes because I know it is going to be a great day.” - Susan Nock
 

To add Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen to your calendar, sign up below and remember to fill out this Volunteer Agreement Form.

Please note the following age restrictions:

  • 10 years and older for Meal Serving*.

  • 12 years and older for Community Garden*.

  • 14 years and older for Grocery Bag Program and Team Building Cooking Experience.

  • No age restriction for Brown Bag Lunch and Hygiene Kit Programs.

*Between 10 and 13 years old, adult supervision is required.

Make it a big-hearted experience with DGT’s help

Before you go: Share and imagine

  • Know the facts. Share the statistics above with your kids and talk about what it means. Do they ever see the results of these statistics in their day-to-day life?

  • What do you think we will do? How might it help? Is there anything that makes you uneasy or nervous?

  • How would you feel if you had to eat your dinner at a community kitchen or shelter? What would you want to be served?

  • Everyone experiences hunger some of the time, but what do you think would happen to your body or feelings if you were hungry often?

Read Together…

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by DyAnn Disalvo-Ryan or A Shelter in Our Car by Monica Gunning.

For older kids, check out Changing Places: A Kids View of Shelter Living by Judy Wallace and Glen Finland.


Volunteering at Loaves & Fishes - What You Need to Know

  • Tell your children to notice any details they’d like to discuss later, but remind them to wait until your family is alone again to bring up their questions, observations or concerns. Explain how these comments might hurt feelings.

  • Please do not wear open-toed shoes, halter tops, short skirts/shorts and bring something to tie back long hair.

  • Bring an open mind and a big heart!

The Value of Reflection

Thinking back on the experience helps children learn the value of service and empathy for others.

  • How did you make a difference?

  • What did you learn that you didn't know before?

  • What did you like the most? What did you like the least?

  • Everyone needs help sometimes. Think about a time when someone helped you. What did they do for you? How did it make you feel?

Take it Further

Start a conversation about ways that the larger community can help solve the issues of hunger and poverty using these resources: Advocate for the Hungry Printable, Fight Poverty Service Projects (DIY projects you can do at home), and DGT™ Reflection Activities: Fight Poverty and Help the Hungry


To contact Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen with questions, email volunteer@loavesfishes.org

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