Hospitality   Free Meals   Advocacy   Friendship

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Free Meals Served

Monday 12-1
Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm
Wednesday 12-1
Thursday 5:30-6:30pm
Friday 12-1




Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.-Dorothy Day





Loaves & Fishes





Housed in St. John’s Episcopal Church

210 N Cayuga St.

            Ithaca NY 14850

            (607) 272-5457




Loaves & Fishes



    April 2014 - March 2015



Our Mission:


Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County is a Christian ministry which provides a place for free meals, hospitality, companionship, and advocacy for those in need, regardless of their faith, beliefs, or circumstances.


Board of Directors

Rev. Janet Shortall, President

Sandie Grooms

Steve Shiffrin, Vice President

Betty House

George Boyer, Secretary

Neil Oolie

Deborah Whitehead, Treasurer

Dawne Peacock

Randy Barker

Rupert Spies

Christine Barksdale

Martin Wells

Edward Baxter

Rev. Clark West

Tristram Coffin

Charles Whitehead

Peter Cronin

Dale Johnson, St. John’s Rep

Lucy Fisher

Rev. Richard Towers, St. John’s Rector

Mary Beth Grant




Rev. Christina Culver, Executive Director

Robin Carlisle Peck, Administrative Assistant

JR Clairborne, Advocacy Coordinator

Jonah McKeough, Receiver/Kitchen Manager,

Kristy Akdemir, Kitchen Manager

Jenny Reeves, Kitchen Manager


Tish Brown, Kitchen Manager Assistant

Dianne Mack, Kitchen Manager Assistant




“I like the informal atmosphere: no reason here to impress anyone. No strings attached. When I came back to Ithaca, I had no place to go for meals.  It’s really neat that the (St. John’s) Episcopal Church lets Loaves use the hall. It’s a chance to have a good time. Everyone pitches in at the end.  It’s a community effort and a community of friends.”     - Grateful Guest




Services and Opportunities


·       Open to all who come; there are no eligibility requirements

·       Free hot nutritious meals each weekday, including a vegan option

·       Advocacy; on-going, practical support to guest’s who have unmet basic needs

·       “Tabling”; direct outreach of social service agencies during mealtimes

·       Regular legal assistance for guests from the Cornell Law school

·       Regular health screenings by a Tompkins County Public Health Nurse

·       Volunteering, community service and work experience

·       Expanded outreach activities to people of color

·       Special Meals celebrating various cultures represented in our community


 Program Statistics


·       In 2014-2015 we served a total of 36,397 meals

·       The average number of meals served each weekday was 141 reflecting about 3% children, 85% adults, and 12% seniors.

·       Over 15,000 hours per year are contributed by volunteers working in the kitchen, in the dining hall as volunteer advocates. We rely on over 100 incredibly dedicated community volunteers each week and 20-30 volunteers each day.  Groups of volunteers include: Ithaca College Protestant Group, Cornell University Hillel, Catholic and Episcopal student groups, First Assembly of God, Eastern Stars - Dorianthia #19 Chapter, GIAC Seniors and Teens, Challenge, Racker Center, Unity House, Cornell School of Hotel Management, The Cornell Public Interest Law Union, Cornell Law Students Assoc., Cornell University Student Public Service Groups, The Cornell Greek Community including, Alpha Phi Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Sigma Phi, Kappa Delta, Kappa Delta Epsilon, Ithaca College Students, Cornell University students and Ithaca High School Students.

·       Advocacy – offering guests practical support and linkage to social services to help address their basic needs, such as housing, healthcare, food and employment was offered at each mealtime by the Advocacy Coordinator, Executive Director, Kitchen Managers and Advocacy Volunteers.

·       Over 25 social service agencies offered direct outreach to guests during mealtimes.


Program Highlights


·     L & F received over $48,000 in non-cash donations, most of which were food donations.

·     Regular Food Donors included: the Friendship Donations Network (FDN), Gimme! Coffee, Ithaca Soy, Panera Bread, Clark’s Market, Ithaca Bakery, Wegmans and many local farms.

·     Grant awards were accepted from: The Park Foundation, the Lewis G. Schaneman Jr., Foundation,

     The United Way of Tompkins County, Tompkins County, NYS Dept. of Health Hunger Prevention

     and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) and Federal funding through the Emergency Food,

     and Shelter Program (EFSP).

·   Fundraisers included: the L & F Summer Appeal and Winter Appeal, the L & F Meal-a-Month

     Program; the EMPTY BOWLS dinner, the Ithaca Alternative Gift Fair, Turkey Trot Run – Finger Lakes

     Runners Club and Cornell Men’s Hockey

        ·   Loaves & Fishes serves as a work-site for the Learning Web (Youth at Risk) and for the Tompkins County

             Department of Social Services Work Experience Programs. The L & F staff provides their clients with

             hands-on kitchen, hospitality and office work experience in the context of a formal

             mentoring relationship.

        ·   A Tompkins County Health Nurse provides our guests with monthly basic education and healthcare 


        ·   Special meals honoring various cultures and holidays are celebrated throughout the year: for example

             during Black History, Latino and Native American Heritage Months.



Financial Report

Fiscal Year April 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015








Non Cash Donations






Other Income



Interest and Dividends



Investment Gains


Total Revenues






Functional Expenses:



    Program Expense



    Management and General



    Fund raising


Total Expenses





















A message from our Executive Director:


In 1983, Ithaca residents and businesses came together to create Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County – a community kitchen. This effort was in response to the needs of neighbors suffering from hunger and poverty. Loaves & Fishes continues to rely on the generosity of St. John’s church, community residents and businesses.


Aside from one kitchen manager, the daily nutritious meal is made possible by 25 kindhearted volunteers. Most are kitchen volunteers, but some are advocacy volunteers. They offer guests non-judgmental support and linkage to social service resources. Additionally, over 25 agencies, including a Tompkins County nurse provide direct outreach to guests during meal times. Serving over 3,000 free, delicious meals each month, it is a great blessing to the community that after 31 years the Loaves & Fishes partnership with the St. John’s church, local businesses and residents is stronger then ever. 


Truly, the generosity of our community allows us to fulfill our mission: to provide a place for free meals, hospitality, companionship, and advocacy for those in need, regardless of their faith, beliefs, or circumstances.  Paraphrasing Rev. Henri Nouwen, without you - our dedicated donors and volunteers - we wouldn’t be who we are.


On behalf of the Loaves & Fishes community, I thank you.


Rev. Christina Culver