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Client Spotlight: Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes

Founded in 1989, Loaves and Fishes is a community-based organization dedicated to alleviating hunger among working poor families, farm workers, and elderly, disabled and homeless individuals of the Pajaro Valley. We help sustain the lives of thousands of individuals by assisting them with nutritious food, education and referrals in cooperation with other agencies. We envision a Pajaro Valley community in which all people have access to healthy food and the other basic necessities of life. We are committed to working collaboratively to develop a healthier, more food-secure community through direct service and advocacy. Each day we manifest the values of service, compassion and justice in our work.

Loaves and Fishes was initially established as an emergency feeding and aid program of St. Patrick’s Church of Watsonville. In the aftermath of the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck the area in October ’89, Loaves and Fishes served more than 20,000 meals to thousands of local residents displaced by the disaster. In 1994, Loaves and Fishes formally separated from St. Patrick's Church while still operating at St. Patrick’s Serra Center. We incorporated as an independent non-profit organization and now operate under the guidance of a board of directors comprised of unpaid community volunteers.

With the generous support of Richard and Mary Solari and many other community donors, Loaves and Fishes purchased and renovated a Victorian house on Second Street in Watsonville. The Solari House was dedicated in June, 2000 and has served as our site of operations ever since. The Solari House has become a gathering place for the Loaves and Fishes community where clients receive needed services, meet and visit with each other, and offer their time and lend their talents as volunteers.

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