The Strength of Loaves and Fishes in the Community


On Sunday, February 24, Loaves and Fishes Director Cathy Maes spoke during our MOtalk about Loaves and Fishes and the changes that have been made since we first began in partnership together.  “What started as food service for mentally disabled people forced onto the streets as a result of MN state hospital closures, has now become the largest public free meal service in Minnesota, serving eight counties. In 2018, Loaves and Fishes dished up more than 1 million meals.”

 The meals offer a chance to gather, serve and be in fellowship with community. “When we reached 1 million meals last year, we really struggled to say is that a good thing or a bad thing?” said Maes.  The truth is in the community of Plymouth alone 1 in 4 kids qualify for free or reduced lunch.  Many families in Plymouth and surrounding areas are struggling to make ends meet. “And it’s not just families who are hungry” added Maes. “In recent years we have seen a huge uptick in elderly coming to our meals.”

 “The real strength of the meals is the community that is created” added Maes. “For some of the people, particularly our elderly who are still living in their homes, this may be the only meal they eat with someone all week.” “For families forced to choose between rent and eating, a meal provides much needed respite and comfort.”

Maes shared an area map indicating food deserts and area of need. “We have a definite need in to extend service in this community.” she said “We are excited about the potential to partner with Mount Olivet for a meal site.”

Mount Olivet’s Loaves and Fishes liaison, Deb McDonald, has invited the congregation to get involved and come to an upcoming dinner. The only qualification is for serving, which requires individuals to be at least 8 years of age and up, and accompanied with a parent or guardian until the age of 15.

Community Meals:

  Wednesday, March 6: Holy Rosary Catholic Church // 5 PM // Serve and share dinner

 Thursday, March 7: Brunswick United Methodist Church // 5:30 PM // Share dinner

    *RSVP to Deb McDonald by March 1 (

 Wednesday, March 13: Oak Grove Church // Golden Valley // 5:30 PM // Share dinner

     *RSVP to Deb McDonald by March 6 (