The Loaves and Fishes Ministry began in order to provide a nourishing weekend meal to the homeless and poor of Baltimore City and create an opportunity for fellowship for homeless patrons and ministry volunteers, trying to understand and live out the Gospel challenge of Matthew 25.
The ministry began in 1986 under the already established organization, “At Jacob’s well,” as a weekend feeding program, providing soup and sandwiches to Baltimore City’s homeless. In an effort to institutionalize the program, the Parish Council of St. Ignatius Church voted in 2002 to expand the Loaves and Fishes Mobile Feeding Program to include Sunday Nights in addition to the Saturday Nights. In 2013, St. Ignatius Church decided to expand the program further to include Sunday nights in the summer. The Sunday night program and the Summer program are run by teams of parishioners from St. Ignatius Church.
- Once registered with the ministry, volunteers are then assigned to teams, each of which goes out on either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Sunday of every month.
- Due to the enthusiasm of volunteers, no one needs to irrevocably commit to serving every month. Team captains will contact members of their team several days before their assigned Sunday and ask for a firm decision on whether or not they can participate that Sunday.
- Once confirmation is received, members can then choose to do one of the four tasks: shop for food and supplies, prepare the food, drive the van, or serve on the van.
- Food preparation occurs 2:00-4:30 p.m. while van distribution takes place from 4:45-8:30 p.m.
- The van follows a generally fixed route which covers downtown Baltimore, Fells Point and the Fallsway around the JFX Expressway, although food is offered to people wherever they are found. The van is back at St. Ignatius around
- 8:00 p.m. and cleanup usually takes about fifteen minutes.
If you are interested in participating in Loaves & Fishes ministry on Sunday’s, help is generally needed in food preparation (usually from 2 to 4:30 pm) and also in serving the meal on the Van (4:30 pm to 8:00 pm). Once you determine which Sunday you wish to participate, please contact one of the following Sunday Team Captains directly, who correspond to the first, second, third and fourth Sundays of the Month.