SACRAMENTO, Calif. — "We're seeing more and more folks out there who are experiencing homelessness in the Sacramento community," said Noel Kammermann, Loaves & Fishes' executive director. "In the last two years we saw a 20 percent increase in homelessness just here. In terms of other California cities, that is the largest increase out of anywhere."
The Sacramento nonprofit was founded more than 30 years ago when Chris Delany and her husband Dan first opened the doors to the community.
And the nonprofit runs solely on donations, not a dime comes from government funding.
"The community has helped us out for more than 36 years. We rely primarily on community support, we don't accept any government funding, and the community has supported us and helped us out," Kammermann said. "But if those donations don't come in, those dollars don't come in...then our hands can effectively get tied."
Head Chef Edwin Burton is one of the many staffers and volunteers who keep the place running. In his time at Loaves & Fishes, he said he's served more than seven million meals.
"it's overwhelming when you can help someone and they make you feel good because everybody goes through life with problems. We're all not perfect," he said, getting emotional as he spoke. "It's love and joy for the community, what everybody does."
Right now the nonprofit is readying for the largest meal service of the year, which will be held on Nov. 26. On that day they plan to service nearly 1,000 men, women and children a Thanksgiving meal.
While this is a huge and incredibly busy day for them, Kammermann wants the community to remember that the need is all year round.
HOW TO HELP:
- Visit the nonprofit's website to make a monetary donation or to learn how to volunteer.
- Food drop-offs can be made at 1351 North C. Street in Sacramento.
- During the winter months, when temperatures are low at night, Loaves & Fishes accepts survival supplies such as coats, sleeping bags, tents and gloves.
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