This is incredible, and it came faster than we predicted. The pandemic has pushed our meal count into lighting speed. Since February 2020, our meal count is up by 69%. When I say incredible, I am not happy that so many people are in need, I am happy that Loaves and Fishes has been able to keep up with the demand on our services and provide a nutritious meal to those who need it.
We are seeing so many new faces, just like the stories we are sharing with you in this newsletter. A few weeks ago, I saw a suburban pull up to the curb outside our Martinez Dining Room, it was close to closing time and a young girl came out of the car, came to the front door and asked for 5 meals. She took the meals, thanked our dining room manager, and hopped back in the car and drove away.
I am happy they feel comfortable enough to come and pick up meals for their family and that they enjoy the food we are serving. To make this happen, my staff works hard every day whether they are greeting someone at the door or cooking in the kitchen. It warms my heart when I see how we help people. It keeps me focused on our mission ensuring we are providing a healthy meal, meeting the demand, staying safe in our current environment and having a good time while doing it.
Loaves and Fishes has so much to be thankful for as the holiday season approaches. We are grateful for everyone in our community who has supported us this past year. So many people have reached out and supported us by calling and saying thank you or donated waters, toiletries, homemade masks, disposable masks, gift cards to purchase water, helped with a food or bag drive, donated bags for the food pantry, produce from local Farmers Market, time to volunteer, made meals for our clients, attended our virtual Comedy Night, and supported us financially. I could go on and on. Our community has been fantastic, and we are grateful. Your generosity during the pandemic allows us to serve 4,900 meals a week, serve to-go meals, serve on the weekends, and hire more staff to support our efforts in the kitchen.
5 Million Meals served and going strong. Loaves and Fishes is here to stay and support our community. Please continue to support our mission, we cannot do it alone. Blessing to all of you during this holiday season, stay safe and we will get through this pandemic together.