Kids screaming, babies crying, and adults with giant grins on their faces. No, the President isn’t in town, but S.J. Sharkie is! On February 1, 2008 The Sharks Foundation presented a check of $23,000 to help out the charity foundation Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen. With Sharkie and hockey great Mike Ricci in tow this was one day that will not soon be forgotten.
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from Friday's check presentation.
The Sharks Foundation chose the local nonprofit because of their warmhearted dedication to providing free, nutritious meals and support services in a dignified, safe, and caring environment to the less fortunate. They provide these services to all needy individuals in Santa Clara County, with special concern for families and senior citizens.
“The families who come to Loaves & Fishes come from impoverished households and often times don’t have a lot to look forward to. That is why Loaves & Fishes is so important to the community. We feed about 200 people per night and the Sharks Foundation aids us by providing financial support for purchasing new equipment and setting up a new location. When Sharkie comes out and visits with the kids it is so moving it brings tears to my eyes,” said Loaves & Fishes Executive Director Christina Egan.
Loaves & Fishes was founded in 1980 to help meet the needs of our community's families and seniors. Since their initial meal, served to 26 guests on February 15, 1980, they have continuously expanded their outreach. Today, they serve five meals each week at their two kitchen locations combined to an average of 200 guests per meal.
“The work that Loaves & Fishes carries out week after week is vital to our community and we know the equipment being purchased with The Sharks Foundation grant will be integral to their efforts. We couldn’t be prouder to work with such an amazing organization.” said Director of The Sharks Foundation Laura Johnston.
The Foundation funding will be used to purchase critical kitchen equipment necessary for the storage and safe preparation of more than 60,000 meals for those in need in the downtown and east San Jose areas.
For those Sharks fans who may wish to get involved with Loaves & Fishes, there are several ways to assist:
For more information on Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen, to volunteer or make a donation, please visit www.loavesfishes.org or call Christina Egan at (408) 934-4990.
- Become a volunteer by helping with all aspects of the meals, including setting up the dining room for dinner, preparing the meal, serving and clean up. The time commitment for each meal is about 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Participate in the Grocery Bag Program distributing food bags to families or find out more about special holiday programs like: Senior Brunch, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and Parent Shopping Day in December.
- Support the program financially. Donations are welcomed at any level from individuals, organizations, companies or foundations.