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




Become an expert in the art of discovering the good in every person. – Dom Helder Camara








 Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County  

Ithaca’s Community Kitchen 2016 Highlights 

Serving Ithaca and Tompkins County for 33 years

We are proud of our contribution to the community and gratefully acknowledge our host,

the St. John’s Episcopal Church, for its generous participation in our ministry to provide

free, nutritious meals, hospitality and advocacy each weekday to all who enter our doors.



Guests and Activities


·       Our guests included the unemployed and underemployed, persons on inadequate public assistance and their children, people dealing with chronic mental or physical-health challenges, the working poor, veterans, the homeless, people in crisis, and anyone desiring companionship.

·       Unfortunately, the need for our free meal program continued to increase. We served over 2,000 more meals during the last fiscal year compared to the previous year.

·       38,421 meals -- over 3,000 meals each month -- were served during the last fiscal year.

·       Each weekday, we served an average of 147 nutritious meals, including a vegan option.

·       Advocacy -- practical support and linkage to social services for basic needs-- was offered at each mealtime by the Advocacy Coordinator, Executive Director, Kitchen Staff and Advocacy Volunteers.

·       The Advocacy Program offers our guests compassionate support and practical help with the goal of satisfying such basic needs as housing, transportation, food, healthcare and safety. We link guests to existing social services and community resources. Additionally, advocacy funds are available to guests in an emergency for bus passes, gas, medical prescriptions, laundry, basic household items and clothing. The Advocacy Program is characterized by the compassion and respect we have for each individual person in our community.

      Outreach/tabling from over 25 local human service agencies is regularly offered during mealtimes. These 

      organizations include: Catholic Charities-Food Stamps (SNAP), Tompkins County Workforce NY, Ithaca Free

      (Health) Clinic, Cornell Legal Research Clinic and Family & Children's Service Community Outreach Worker.

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

·       Loaves & Fishes serves as a work-site for the Learning Web (Youth at Risk), Challenge Workforces Solutions, and the Hospitality Employment Training Program (HETP) of the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC). The L & F staff provides their clients with hands-on kitchen and hospitality work experience in the context of a formal mentoring relationship.

·       Special meals honoring various cultures and holidays are celebrated throughout the year: Black, Latino and Native American Heritage Months, Women’s History Month, Maundy Thursday, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

·       Live music, including singing, is periodically provided by various community members and L & F guests.




    We rely on over 100 incredibly dedicated community volunteers each week and 20-30 volunteers each day.  Groups of volunteers include: Ithaca College Projects in Community, Catholic and Episcopal student groups, First Assembly of God, Eastern Stars - Dorianthia #19 Chapter, GIAC Seniors and Teens, Challenge, Racker Center, Unity House, Cornell Public Interest Law Union, Cornell Law Students Assoc., Cornell Political Union, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, Cornell Undergraduate Health and Nutrition Society, Cornell Cru, The Cornell Greek Community including, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Delta, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Sigma Phi, Sigma Pi, Ithaca Delta Kappa Epsilon, Ithaca College MEDLIFE, Ithaca College Women's Track Team, Ithaca College Students, Cornell University Students and Ithaca High School Students.



Regular Food Donations


  $45,239 worth of food donations were received during the last fiscal year. Several dozen individuals and merchants, including local farms through the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, donated an abundance of food to us. They included Bright Raven Farm, Early Morning Farm, Ezra Peachy, Good Life Farm, Humble Hill Farm, Littletree Orchards, Nook & Cranny Farm, Plenty of Posies Farm, Stick and Stone Farm, The Three Swallow - Youth Farm Project Farm, Ithaca Organics, West Haven Farm, Wixom Farm, Clark’s Market, Cornell Plant Breeding, The Cornell Store, Emmy’s Organics, Fork & Gavel, Friendship Donations Network, Gimme! Coffee, GreenStar, Ithaca Hummus, Ithaca Rotary Club, Ithaca Soy, Manndible Café, Moose Lodge, Oasis Hillel Grill, Panera Bread, The Piggery, Pizza Hut, Short Stop Deli, Starbucks, Susie’s Seitan, Texas Road House, and Wegmans.




  Fundraisers included: individual donations through the L & F Summer Appeal and Winter Appeal and the L & F

Meal-A-Month Donation Program, the annual EMPTY BOWLS L & F fundraiser dinner including the business sponsors of the event; Borg Warner, Cayuga Medical Center, Crown Construction, CSP Management, Fingerlakes Wealth Management, Harris Beach PLLC, Realty USA, Sciarabba Walker, Tompkins Trust Company, True Insurance, University Sand & Gravel, Finger Lakes Runners Club’s Turkey Trot, organized by Bruce Roebel, Cornell Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams & Fans, Buffalo Books Holiday Gift Wrapping, organized by Mary Chapman.

  Grants were awarded through the Lewis G. Schaeneman Jr. Foundation, Park Foundation, United Way of Tompkins County and federal, state, and county governments.



Executive Director: Rev. Christina Culver Kitchen Manager/Receiver: Katie Church

Kitchen Manager: Jenny Reeves Kitchen Manager Assistants: Katie Noonan

Advocacy Coordinator: J.R. Clairborne Administrative Assistant: Cindy Bray


Board of Directors April 2016 - March 2017

President:  Rev. Clark West Vice President: Mary Beth Grant Secretary: Sandie Grooms

Treasurer: Deborah Whitehead Directors: Randy Barker, Christine Barksdale, Edward Baxter, Charlie Ciccone,

Ted Clark, Tristram Coffin, Peter Cronin, Dale Johnson, Lucy Fisher,  Betty House, Neil Oolie, Dawne Peacock, Scott Russell, Rev. Barb Schmitz, Steve Shiffrin, Martin Wells, Charles Whitehead


Contact Us

·       For more information about volunteering, donating or the Meal-A-Month Donation Program

·       E-mail  or Call 607-272-5457

·       Enjoy our inspiring video on our website: