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a white delivery van with a food graphic and 'Sharing Meals, Serving Neighbors' on the side

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen provides free meals to low-income families, seniors, veterans, students, the disabled and homeless who struggle with food insecurity.

How it started

Gisela Bushey founded Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen in 1980 with a simple meal of bread and fish for 11 adults and 15 children in San Jose, California.

How it works

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen provides free meals Monday through Friday at Goodwill Industries and the San Jose Vietnamese Seventh Day Adventist Church. The organization also partners with 79 nonprofit agencies from as far south as Gilroy to as far north as Palo Alto in California to provide free hot meals to their guests. Since 2014, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen has steadily increased and streamlined its services to support the increasing number of residents needing nutritious meals and support services — including on major holidays. It partners with 55 nonprofits at 79 locations throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties to provide meals at low-income senior retirement centers, community centers, schools, shelters, transitional housing and after school programs.

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen has embraced an extended partnership model. It operates two centralized kitchens in Morgan Hill at $1 rent per year, plus utilities. Its fleet of vehicles includes three specialized hot/cold temperature-controlled delivery trucks and three refrigerated trucks that deliver an average 25,000 meals per week in a 60-mile radius of the Bay Area. Since its inception, Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen has provided over 7.5 million meals.

What’s next

The goal is to continue the program to scale as the demand increases — because no family should have to worry about putting food on the table.

What’s needed

  • Additional funding

little kid eating pizza and smiling for camera


Gisela B. Bushey, CEO
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen
San Jose, California


Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen logo: green and black digital line art of a fish on top of a slice of bread

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