Loaves and Fishes Ministries Inc.

Assistance for families in Hartford, CT

Hunger is always with us

Loaves and Fishes Ministries directly impacts families throughout the Asylum Hill neighborhood and in greater Hartford who eat in our soup kitchen and then use our related programs to move beyond immediate crisis needs. Recent national studies all find that more Americans continue to be hungry than ever before, despite concerted efforts on the part of non-profits and volunteers working together. Poor families repeatedly run short of food, and far too many families suffer from "very low food security"--which means they have to skip meals or not eat for a day due to lack of funds. In the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford, this "very low food security" is what we address, day in and day out, at Loaves and Fishes Ministries. No matter how hard we work, hunger is always with us, but we believe we can do something to alleviate the problem for motivated clients when we have partners who care.

Serving the Asylum Hill neighborhood

Loaves & Fishes Ministries was founded in 1982 and has been serving residents of the Asylum Hill neighborhood for almost 35 years as an independent non-profit organization intent on change. Clients report their lives have been changed because they come to the soup kitchen hungry and leave having eaten what is often their only hot meal of the day. We served more than 35,000 meals annually in our soup kitchen.

A daily, full hot meal

We have never had to turn away a client due to lack of food or inability to provide take home extras. All who come to eat at Loaves and Fishes and abide by our organization's rules are served, and gain the benefit of a daily, full hot meal and take home extras.

Job Training

Our clients are 85% minority, and 40% percent female. Single mothers and families continue to be a large portion of our population. Homeless figures remain difficult to pin down, for the reason that many clients stay with friends or relatives on a rotating basis but have no permanent home. The percentage of those we see in our soup kitchen who are working poor remains at approximately 33%; these individuals are now looking for help with food and are also making use of our job training program for help with job skills and employment.

Volunteer Calendar

Monthly letter (please share)

December 2018 CALENDAR   (download flyer)

2019 Schedule - We'll assume that you want to keep the same schedule next year as you had this year unless we hear from you by December 7th. If your group would like a different schedule, you MUST call us at 860-524-1730 to discuss the possibilities.

Christmas Meal - For our Christmas meal, we request that each of our groups provide:
1 5 lb. Ham- whole (which we will bake) or cooked and sliced
Green beans for 10 
1 gallon of juice - cranberry
Macaroni and Cheese for 10

Please contact us by December 10th so that we can plan on your group's participation. Food should be brought to the kitchen by 1:00 p.m. Tuesday (12/18) or Wednesday (12/19) by 1:00 p.m. Note the Christmas dinner for clients will be held on Friday, December 21st. We will have special cabaret singers from Simsbury High School entertaining us on that day.

Volunteer Special Recognition - We want to thank several local school communities for the absolutely incredibly work they have done on behalf of Loaves & Fishes Ministries this holiday season. On the Monday before Thanksgiving, Westminster School donated a huge amount of fresh produce from their kitchen that Hector and Mary were able to use for our own Thanksgiving meal (everyone ate fresh green beans on Thursday, for example!). We were thrilled to have such lovely and fresh items for our table. On Tuesday of the same week, 2 Kingswood Oxford school buses filled to bursting with students and holiday food arrived at our doors, driven by KO Middle School teachers - the result of a community-wide effort to help feed our client families at Thanksgiving. A huge amount of work goes into this annual effort which again this year produced bags and boxes crammed with stuffing, canned yams, green beans, gravy, cereal, cranberry sauce, crackers--an unbelievable amount. With this help we were able to give our clients everything they needed for a Thanksgiving feast! (Most of our client recipients eat at L & F on Thanksgiving, and prepare their own feasts in the days following.) Mary put together 75 pantry bags filled with items for clients to take with them after they ate on Thanksgiving Day. We are impressed by the spirit of caring that Kingswood shows to others, and the students' great interest in learning about and helping those in different and often difficult situations. The students also collected Halloween candy that was donated and which was bagged and given to clients as a treat as they left the dining room after our Thanksgiving meal. Loaves & Fishes could not function at the same level without such generosity and support in furthering our work in the Asylum Hill neighborhood of Hartford. Great thanks and kudos to you!

If you think you may be short on volunteers for your day, please call us 48 hours in advance (if possible) so we can find extra help. (524-1730)

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU - We understand that sometimes you have questions about serving at Loaves & Fishes. We are here to answer those questions! Please do not hesitate to call us at 524-1730. Remember, when weather is difficult, the group contact makes the decision concerning group attendance. It is always your call. If you think you may be short on volunteers for your day, please call us 48 hours in advance (if possible) so we can find extra help. (524-1730)

Thank You for Your Dedication to Our Clients

Certificate Program

At L & F we want to make sure that we never lose sight of the individuals behind the numbers. No matter how much we pay attention to numbers and results, we put our greatest emphasis on those people coming in the door to eat a much needed meal; on meeting their needs where we find them. We track the number of clients who move from one program into related services - to determine how many clients are able to move beyond crisis intervention of the soup kitchen into individual economic development of our job training program, or our sewing program. And all of our clients and programs benefit from your support of our certificate program.


certificateSend a certificate today

Our certificates are a thoughtful, creative way to remember friends and relatives during the holidays and year-round. At the same time that donors remember a loved one, they also help fill the needs of the hungry and homeless. The vast majority of certificates are sent for Hanukkah, Christmas, and the New Year, but we also receive requests for certificates in honor of weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and memorials. Each year, Loaves & Fishes processes close to 200 certificates.. Call the office (860-524-1730) for an order form.


Some quotes from volunteers and clients
"It's such a pleasure to be here each month. Every person I brought a meal to today thanked me, or asked how I was. I didn't expect that." (volunteer from a Hartford business)

 "That wasn't my favorite meal today, but it was still good. I'll be back anyway; you know I love to see you all. It will be good tomorrow, and I'll be hungry." (client)

"Wow, the decorations are awesome! It's beautiful in here! I love how you guys always make the days special for us, on the holidays and all." (client on Halloween 10/31/16)

"The reason I like to come here is the food is always the best." (client 11/8/16)