Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen has unveiled its new home on Berger Drive in San Jose. It’s the first permanent home for the nonprofit that got its start 40 years ago with 10 volunteers serving meals of fish and bread at St. Patrick’s Church. It has gone from a simple soup kitchen to one of the leading providers of meals for the hungry in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
“It’s hard for me to believe that I’ve been involved in Loaves & Fishes since the beginning,” board chair Dan Barsanti recalled at the ribbon-cutting Friday. “My family business — Race Street Fish & Poultry, owned by the Barsanti and Riparbelli families — donated fish for the first meal Loaves & Fishes served. This home behind me has been 40 years in the making.”
Between its directly served meals, deliveries to nonprofits and its mobile A La Carte program, Loaves & Fishes served over 1 million meals in the year that ended June 30, almost twice as much as it provided just two years ago. Right now meals are produced at a kitchen facility in Morgan Hill, which will be retained.
About half of the new 12,600 square-foot facility will be used for offices and reception, with the other half slated to be converted to a kitchen and warehouse area. Loaves & Fishes is raising $2.5 million to build out the kitchen area, which could increase its capacity to about 10,000 meals a day.
Besides displaying the new facility for the first time, Loaves & Fishes CEO Gisela Bushey said Friday’s event also was an opportunity to publicly thank John A. Sobrato, whose lead gift provided the majority of the funding for the building.
“I’m very pleased to have our family’s name associated with this wonderful agency,” said Sobrato, who is being honored with his wife, Sue Sobrato, with the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership by the Philanthropy Roundtable.
Loaves & Fishes will celebrate its 40th anniversary with an online party Nov. 14 hosted by Sharks’ voice Randy Hahn that will feature a cooking demonstration by South Bay chef Jim Stump, owner of The Table in Willow Glen and Forthright Oyster Bar & Kitchen in Campbell. Tickets are available for $40 each at www.loavesfishes.org.
MAKING A MOVE: The Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation announced Tuesday that its executive director, Tamara Alvarado, would be leaving to take a job as a program officer in the Local Grantmaking Program at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Alvarado joined the Shortino Foundation in 2018 after leadership positions at the School of Arts & Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza and MACLA.
“Tamara has been a trailblazer at the Shortino Foundation,” David Heiman, the Shortino Foundation’s board chairman, said. “She introduced the concepts of trust-based philanthropy and equity to our
organization, and transformed our relationships with our grantees. Her commitment to our
community is steadfast.”
Alvarado said she’ll miss her colleagues at the Shortino Foundation but is excited about her new position, which she called “a wonderful opportunity to serve a larger community.”
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: There’s still time to register for Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence’s annual Light Up the Night ceremony and fundraiser on Oct. 15. The event, which will be held online, includes live and silent auctions, along with a program and a candle-lighting ceremony, which is always an emotionally moving part of the event.
Tickets to the 6 p.m. start at $25 and can be purchased at bit.ly/LUTN2020.
“Sadly, demand for our services by victims of domestic abuse has skyrocketed during the last
few months due to COVID-19,” Executive Director Esther Peralez-Dieckmann said. “The economic hardship generated by COVID-19, combined with many instances where vulnerable people forced to shelter in place with abusers, has created a perfect storm in the worst way for a spike in domestic violence.”