Jesus el Rey: Partnership Impact Story 2023



Loaves & Fishes has been growing a network to rescue good food, before it goes to a landfill, and alleviate food insecurity in Greenville County since 1991.


We bridge the gap between excess food and communities who need it. We partner with nearly 100 food producers, retailers, and restaurants to safely rescue their excess or unsold foods.

Last year we redistributed a record 2.7M pounds to our network of 100+ housing or church pantries, school and youth programs, community centers, mental health centers and, finally, emergency programs, shelters and soup kitchens—all at no cost to them. Thanks to you!

Here's one story from a partner we think is a good representation of the kind of impact food rescue has on Greenville County.

Iglesia Jesus el Rey

The kitchen at the Iglesia Jesus el Rey isn’t a regular room at all.

It is the living, beating heart of the Northhills Hispanic community.

Like your home kitchen, it is the best smelling and most delicious room in the building. But, unlike your home kitchen, this one facilitates the congregation’s tasty fellowship, and also provides weekly food boxes to Northhill’s food insecure families.

Iglesia Jesus el Rey’s Food Pantry gives families boxes of rescued food with the goal of providing enough to carry them through the week ahead.

Raw chicken wings, fresh raspberries, bananas, prepared sandwiches, deli items, and fresh spinach are among the most common items delivered to Jesus el Rey each Friday. Because the kitchen at the Iglesia has refrigeration and freezer space, they can accept every food category that Loaves & Fishes rescues, from raw meat to frozen meals.

The volunteers that manage the drive-thru food pantry at Jesus el Rey are top of the class. They demonstrate kindness to everyone they serve.

Thanks to our partnership, we've been able to provide over 10,000 meals to the Northside Community in just a few short years.

The Iglesia was founded by Dr. Manuel Izquierdo in 2006 and they became an official agency partner of Loaves & Fishes in December of 2018.

The initial request was to feed approximately 30 families, per month. But, in their first month of service, they had an additional 100 families requesting assistance. Thanks to our generous food donors and great communication, Loaves & Fishes met this challenge. Thirty days later, the need more than doubled again to 303 families and, again, Loaves & Fishes met the challenge. Now they serve over 360 families per month, and have never had to turn anyone away.

To meet this increase, Loaves & Fishes did what we’ve always done: recruit more local food donors. Not just local to Greenville, but hyper-local to the Northhills community. Prior to partnering with the Iglesia, Loaves & Fishes had just two food donors nearby. This increased need and the food rescue solution proved helpful in recruiting more food donor partners. The reality that there were 303 food insecure families within 4 miles of their stores was a startling revelation.


Working with the Iglesia has brought a lot of joy to Loaves & Fishes too. Each Friday, Israel Greene, Lead Rescue Driver, proudly delivers hundreds of pounds of rescued food, making him an honorary member of the church’s congregation and the family. While Greene enjoys all of our food rescue partners, he finds the spirit of service at Iglesia Jesus el Rey is especially moving.

“When Irma [pantry director] and Antonia [church secretary] know I’m in the parking lot they will send their kids, grandkids, uncles and aunties out to help unload the truck. Service is a core tenet of the Hispanic community in Northhills and I have tremendous love and respect for them,” says Greene.


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Photo courtesy of B. Knox Photography