Loaves and Fishes gives food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and speaks the Gospel to everyone who enters our doors.
While we temporarily satisfy people’s basic needs, our true purpose is to provide them with the permanent answer to their problems: Jesus Christ. In John 6:35, Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
It is our goal for ever person who steps into our building to be saved, healed, and delivered! We pray for sickness and disease, and command debt and financial pressures to dissolve. Many people leave our building positively changed, built up in faith, and trusting God for their situation to improve.
This Loaves & Fishes meal is hosted by St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Camden.
Loaves and Fishes is the weekend lunch program at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, served in the parish hall on Saturdays and Sundays. Meals are served at no cost to our guests. There is also a special dinner served Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. We typically serve 25 or more people on a Saturday and up to 40 on a Sunday. The Easter and Christmas meals are prepared by members of the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue. The Thanksgiving meal is prepared by St. Peter’s and serves over 150 people.
The program began in the 1990s, when the people of Pratt Memorial United Methodist Church were looking for somewhere to relocate their own evening meal program due to the sale of their building on Union Street to the Farnsworth Art Museum. About the same time some people at St. Peter’s had decided to serve lunch from our building and began serving coffee and sandwiches from the trunk of a car in the parking lot, and pretty quickly the program was invited into the parish hall, and the Methodist and Episcopal programs merged together as a weekend effort.
Several other church and secular groups have taken part over the years, so that each group usually serves one meal a month.
Each team is independent, and has its own way of providing the necessary food. Some groups use dishes prepared beforehand by members of their churches, some raise their own funds, and some recruit local restaurants to provide what is necessary. Most cook their meals in St. Peter’s kitchen. From time to time, various local restaurants and stores have also provided certain kinds of supplies such as surplus bread and prepared sandwiches.