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)

February 2018 CALENDAR   (download flyer)

Volunteer Recognition - We are very glad to recognize the tremendous work that St. James's Episcopal Church's volunteer group accomplishes every month on behalf of our clients at Loaves and Fishes. St. James's has had a strong partnership with Loaves and Fishes for a very long time, as they have been serving a monthly meal in the soup kitchen for over 21 years. But for the last thirteen (13!) years, their volunteers have also found additional ways to contribute by staying after church EVERY Sunday to make 300 sandwiches for our soup kitchen clients! These bologna and cheese sandwiches are delivered to our door every Monday, fresh and ready to be handed out as clients leave the dining room after our noon meal. Not only do our clients love the sandwiches (bologna is always a favorite), but the incredible commitment to our program and to our clients that this ongoing sandwich program demonstrates is truly remarkable. St. Jame's have become an example for many others who now provide excellent sandwiches for clients too! Many, many thanks to you all!


REMINDER: Please remember that when you are providing food for the meal to include the coffee and tea as well. Clients love their coffee and tea and we have run out numerous times.


VOLUNTEER LISTS - Thank you to all who have signed in to our Volunteer Sign-In binder. This is most helpful, as we must have the names and addresses of all volunteers. This is a legal matter that is now required by State regulations. We must be able to contact volunteers if needed. If any of your volunteers are concerned about receiving solicitations in the mail, please advise them that the maximum number of items mailed from us each year is 4. Many new individuals join groups during the year and many have volunteered for years so it is wonderful to have contact information for as many of you as possible. Those of you volunteering in the soup kitchen, please keep it up! Volunteer Sign-In book remains in the dining room; please fill it out when you are present. We appreciate the names, addresses and phone numbers of anyone in your group: cooks, servers, shoppers, ANYONE! Please share other names via e-mail (loaves@sbcglobal.net), fax: 249-2871, or put them in the Volunteer Sign-In book. Many thanks.


hunger walk 2018Early notice - The Walk Against Hunger - Saturday, May 5!!! The 35th Annual Walk Against Hunger is Saturday, May 5, 2018. Please note the change in day! Many of you have supported us in the past, and more than ever we need you to consider putting together a team to sponsor us in the walk this year. More next month! This is Loaves & Fishes' major fundraiser, and has become more important as fewer funds become available for food programs. We truly need you to join our effort.

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)