Loaves and Fishes’ Minnesota free meal program began 36 years ago, in 1982, with one dining site each in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since that time, they have grown to serving 2,000 meals daily, are present in seven Minnesota counties, and are the largest open-to-the-public free meal program in the state. They serve free, healthy meals to people in need in areas where that need is greatest. Their enhanced mission emphasizes nutrition in every meal, which includes a local farm-to-table approach during Minnesota’s growing season. Loaves and Fishes is always guided by their vision that all people, regardless of socioeconomic, cultural or ethnic background, deserve to meet their basic needs for food, dignity and respect.
Through a partnership with Greater Twin Cities United Way, Loaves and Fishes’ Minnesota was able to start the Farm for All program. Volunteers give their time at the four community gardens and farm sites to provide fresh, organic food to Loaves and Fishes meal sites across the Twin Cities.