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)

April 2017 CALENDAR  (download flyer)

REMINDER: When serving in the dining room, health department guidelines require everyone to wear a hair net or a baseball hat. We have hats available for you to use. If you prefer, you can bring in your own hat from home.
Any volunteer, who would like to receive this notice via email, should leave his/her email address on the volunteer sign in sheet. We will be more than happy to add you to the mailing list each month.

Walk for HungerThe Walk Against Hunger - Sunday May 7!!!
The 34th Annual Walk Against Hunger is Sunday, May 7, 2017. Loaves and Fishes' goal for this year is to raise $32,000 of which we will receive $25,600 (the other $6,400 goes to Foodshare).
We have been very successful in enlisting teams - but would love more. We'd love to have you join the list. Just call us, and we will send you all the information and give you guidance along the way. Call Alyce, Allison.

If you or someone you know can't form a team but would like to walk and sponsor us, please let us know. We will send a registration form and they can walk as a member of the Loaves and Fishes Team. You don't even have to walk! - you can be a "walker in spirit". Lastly, if you can't walk but would like to sponsor a walker, send us a check made out to "Walk Against Hunger", and we will add your contribution to the Loaves and Fishes Team.

Volunteer Recognition: We want to thank Westminster School for all the tremendous work these students, staff and faculty achieved on behalf of Loaves & Fishes Ministries through their recent community service project--a 3-day long commitment of time and talent and sweat equity all for the benefit of our clients! The group of students completed several vital tasks; including extensive cleaning in our kitchen, hallway, and dining room; totally reorganizing and updating our pantry storage room, and completing our Walk Against Hunger mailing. We are impressed by the spirit of caring that this overall community service project shows, and by the students' interest in learning about and helping those in different and often difficult situations. We value this willingness to be involved with our work - kudos to you all!

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.

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)