Dear friend of Loaves & Fishes,
These are the words that inspired my husband, Dan, and I to open the doors of hospitality to “the least of our sisters and brothers” at Loaves & Fishes in 1981. Today we not only feed the hungry we also welcome the stranger, provide water for the thirsty (as well as for showers and laundry),care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned. When I say “WE,” I refer to each donor, each volunteer, and every staff person of the last 31 years.
Alas, however, some evil force we call ‘the economy’ always challenges our efforts. When our economy drops, unfortunately those most affected are the least of our sisters and brothers such as is happening now. We who shop for groceries for our families are astounded by the rising prices! Imagine what the daily cost of food must be for a group of 500-700 folks a day! Our cost for an average meal per individual at present is $1.65 and by the year’s end our Finance Committee is projecting that it will rise to $1.80 per person.
While food is our major concern, we have to factor in the cost of utilities, maintenance, vehicles (upkeep and fuel), program supplies, etc. A word about our amazing staff, without whom we would have to close our doors. They are so dedicated to the work of our mission that they are willing to work for minimal wages. We do, however, provide them with health care benefits.
One of the miracles (and it is a BIG one) at Loaves & Fishes is that 90% of our income is used for guest services and about 10% is used for Administrative costs. Is that not astounding?
I have been asked by our Board of Directors to write this appeal letter. It is a task that I find very painful. Up until about six years ago this was my husband, Dan’s task. I have always found it difficult to beg, especially from you, who have so faithfully and generously supported our ministries to “the least” of God’s people for so many years. We’re not going to suggest that you increase your donations because we believe in what we prayerfully call “the Bank of Faith.” That is, if we are doing God’s work, God will send us the wherewithal to carry on. You have been God’s Bank of Faith for Loaves & Fishes for years. We continue to be deeply grateful and we pray that your generosity to the ‘least’ will be returned to you a hundredfold!
Chris Delany Board Member & Co-Founder of Loaves & Fishes
P.S. Be sure to check out our monthly needs list and see if you can help provide much needed items and resources for our guests..