For over 30 years, Loaves & Fishes has served Greenville County by rescuing surplus food and redirecting it free of charge to our partner agencies for redistribution to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Our service to the community has grown organically for decades. When new food donors joined our efforts, we added as many partner agencies as we could. Through those years our Board has often asked “Are we doing all that we can?” With little data available regarding the realities of food insecurity in our neighborhoods, answering that question proved to be difficult until now. In the Fall of 2020, LiveWell Greenville’s Food Security Coalition commissioned a food insecurity index to predict which census tracts in the county are most vulnerable to food insecurity based on five risk factors. This information allows us to see which communities have been identified as most vulnerable and overlay it with our current service map. Finally, the gaps have been revealed.
In 2023, Loaves & Fishes put into motion the most comprehensive strategic plan in the organization’s history. The plan includes strategies to use the food insecurity index to identify five underserved communities and thoughtfully expand our services in those areas over the next five years.
By the end of 2027, we intend to increase our impact by at least 33%.
Single meal providers, such as soup kitchens and breakfast programs
Nonprofit child care and after school/summer programs
Shelters and group homes
Low income housing for seniors and disabled citizens
Therapeutic programs supporting special populations
Loaves & Fishes was founded in Greenville in 1991. Local banker Sam Hunt was traveling in New York City in 1990 where he witnessed food rescue for the first time. He watched City Harvest, one of the first food rescues in the US, rescue leftover food from the event he was attending. When he asked, he was told that they would deliver it to near-by hungry people. What a novel solution! Knowing that hunger was a problem in Greenville too–he got to work. Sam recognized that a significant amount of high quality perishable food was also being discarded in Greenville, just like in New York City. To move surplus food to feed the hungry, he mobilized dozens of family and friends, effectively founding Loaves & Fishes as a 100% volunteer-run agency in the process.
In 1991 Hunt and his volunteers rescued a modest 25,000 pounds of food. With 4 refrigerated trucks, Loaves & Fishes rescued nearly 2.5 million pounds of food in 2021, a record year– but not much has changed. We still believe that food is dignity and that everyone deserves it. Rescuing food is who we are, and all we do. Sharing isn’t just a character trait we teach children–its a verb that inspires us to ensure no good food goes to waste in Greenville, 7 days a week.
We have 107 partners, many of which are in places of worship, though L&F is not religiously affiliated. As a 501 (c) 3, we donate surplus food to secular groups, nonprofit partners, and religious partners of all kinds. We are constantly expanding our network to include more and more of Greenville County and aim to eliminate hunger and food insecurity altogether.
Alex Vitou, Chair
Dodge Industrial, Inc.
Kathryn Burke, Vice Chair
Southern First Bank
Jesse Hansford, Treasurer
Professional Planning & Wealth
Anthony Quartararo, Attorney
Marian L. Bowers, United Community Bank
Rachel Hunt, Hope Streams Counseling, LLC
Blake Brookshire, Roger C. Peace Inpatient Rehabilitation
Carmen Ogles, Bon Secours Health System
Zandr Tesolowski, Elliott Davis
Carol Ann Bell, Community Volunteer
Will Hodge, Pinnacle Financial Partners
Ana Davis, Godshall Staffing
Jon Good, NAI Earle Furman
Beverly Henderson, Community Volunteer
Brad Hughes, Allstate
Terrie Long, Greenville Health System
Bob Munnich, Larkin’s on the River & Grill Marks
Tyson Smoak, Pintail Capital
Chef Patrick Wagner, Culinary Institute of the Carolinas
Marsha Woods, United Community Bank
Jake Cluverius, Merrill Lynch
John Meachum, Dixon Hughes Goodman
Marilyn Messer, Senior Vice President of Human Resources