Loaves and Fishes
During the winter of 1982, many people were in need of food andother services.The local Salvation Army Service Committee was being overwhelmed by servicerequests andchurches were also being asked to help, resulting in a duplicationof effort for there was no coordinationbetween these helping groups.
George Stolenberg of the Salvation Army approached a local pastor's prayergroup to see if area churchesmight be willing to take a more active part inhelping people in need. The pastors agreed to help andbegan calling peopletogether to discuss the possibility of a cooperative ministry.
After meeting for several months in the conference room at the Paso RoblesPolice Station, the pastorsdecided to launch what would be called "Loaves &Fishes" based on the time when Jesus received the lunchof a young man, 5loaves and 2 fish, blessed it and fed a multitude (Matthew 14:17).Approximately 30people came together and committed to take part in thisministry. On the first Monday after Easter in1983, Loaves & Fishes opened itsdoors at St. James' Episcopal Church at 14th and Oak Streets.
In February 1991, the center was moved to the rear of the Boatman Building(City Annex) where space wasprovided by the City of Paso Robles for $1 permonth. Loaves & Fishes knew it would someday need a newlocation, as the citywould eventually need this space. In March of 1999 the Weyrich FamilyFoundationapproached Loaves & Fishes with an offer to help find the ministry apermanent home. In the spring of 2000architectural drawings were made,contractors were hired and ground broke on our new building in October2000.
In September 2000, Loaves & Fishes moved to its temporary location at the FirstUnited Methodist Churchand St. James' Episcopal Church in Paso Robles. We willforever be grateful to these two churches forhelping us during our transition.
In July of 2001 we began to move into our new location at 2650 Spring St. Weopened to clients on July 23,2001 in our new building, which is being providedby the Weyrich Family Foundation at the cost of $1.00per year with a leaserenewable for up to 90 years.
Since 1983, when Loaves & Fishes opened it has responded to literally thousandsof requests for emergencycare. The number grows each year and in 2002 Loaves &Fishes provided services for over 16,000 people.Most of the responses are inthe form of food, but other services and assistance are provided.
The support of the churches, individuals, and businesses of the community alongwith the local citygovernment make Loaves & Fishes possible. Over 100volunteers carry out the many functions of theministry. Don Charles who hadbeen involved from the beginning of Loaves & Fishes became the firstpaiddirector in 1989.
In July 1995, Don Charles retired and The Rev. Jacqueline Sebro was namedDirector.
©St. James Church