A searing summer is just beginning in Washington, and the air conditioned L&F dining room is not only a place for a meal. It’s a place to get out of the noonday sun.

A Loaves and Fishes Guest

Jeff is one of thousands of Loaves and Fishes guests who join us for a meal in a comfortable dining room, on days when there are few other options for midday meals.

Jeff is one of our guests these days at Loaves and Fishes, and he deeply values the opportunity we provide him and many others to come by for a hot meal and bit of relaxation in our dining room on weekends when so many of Washington’s free meal programs are closed.

Jeff, who’s 49, used to be a duo, moving about the city with his brother Michael, 40. But Michael, who like Jeff wrestled with alcohol addiction, took a turn for the worse in May, checked into Howard University Hospital, and died. Loaves and Fishes and Thrive DC, the agency with which L&F partners, helped arrange Mike’s funeral, and Jessica McLeod, Thrive’s director of social services, is now assisting Jeff to pick up the broken pieces of his life.

“I’ve been clean,” that is free of alcohol and other drugs, “for 24 days,” Jeff volunteered proudly on the recent day that he was interviewed by the Loaves and Fishes volunteer who prepared this letter.

As Jeff sees it, his life began to fall apart when his mother died in 2011. “I got to drinking pretty heavy after that,” he explained. He used to work as a courtesy clerk at Safeway, the rather grand title the grocery chain assigns to those who clean floors and carry out the trash. But he got in a fight in the street outside the store, and that job was lost.

It’s likely to take some time for Jeff to get his life together, but he has hope and he’s found helping hands. For the moment he sleeping in a dormitory provided by SOME (So Others Might Eat), another helping organization in Washington. He has a cell phone with 250 free minutes a month, provided by Access Wireless, which distributes phones to those who qualify twice a month at Loaves and Fishes. And when he’s hungry on weekends (who isn’t?), he knows there’s a meal waiting for him at Loaves and Fishes.

The reason that meal is there is because you and hundreds of people like you paid for it, came and cooked it, plated it, served it, and cleaned up afterwards. We are entirely reliant on your support. Please donate $1,000, $500, $90, $60, $30, or another amount to help us continue serving nutritious meals to our guests, and providing the hospitality, good fellowship and assurance of human worth that rises when people eat together. Any amount is appreciated. Your donation has immediate and direct impact on feeding the hungry.

Also, please save the October 31 (Halloween!), when we’ll be celebrating our annual Un-Gala Gala with food and fun. You’ll hear more about it as the date draws nearer


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