Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

2050 Lambs Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901, USA
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Our mission Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry’s mission is to give food with kindness and compassion to those from Charlottesville and surrounding communities seeking assistance while providing an opportunity for volunteers to serve their neighbors.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

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Ways to help

Preparing Food for Clients

Prior to clients receiving food during a distribution, all food must first be inspected, sorted, and packed. Pre-distribution jobs include:Produce Assistants – The pantry prides itself on providing healthy, colorful, and nutritious produce to its clients. Produce Assistants check all donated produce for quality and freshness and help to pack items into bags to be distributed to clients. This is a great job for individuals with a basic familiarity of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Bread Sorters – Loaves & Fishes receives thousands of pounds of bakery items each week. Bread Sorters follow specific guidelines to inspect for freshness, sort, and rack donated bread and bakery items. This is a great job for volunteers who enjoy organization and working within a well-defined system. Meat Sorters – Meat is one of the most appreciated food items received by our clients. Meat Sorters help us pack assorted frozen meat to ensure those that visit us get a variety of healthy proteins.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • On-site
  • Weekdays

Distribution Volunteers

Loaves & Fishes distributes food to clients 4 times each week, on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, Thursday evenings, and Saturday mornings. Distributions are done in the parking lot, with groceries delivered to clients in their cars.A small team of volunteers, called Cart Packers, work inside the warehouse to load grocery carts with food for each visiting household. The items loaded into the cart vary in weight from light (such as single cans and boxes of cereal) to moderate (such as gallons of milk or 10-pound bags of produce) to heavy (15–20-pound bags or boxes of commodities or produce). Volunteers lift items from all levels of our 3-shelf carts and pallets of varying heights so you will be both reaching high and bending low. Staff provides guidance on what food items and how much each household will receive (based on what we have available).Other volunteers, called Cart Runners, are used outside to deliver fully loaded grocery carts to clients’ cars in the parking lot. Fully loaded carts typically weigh between 150-175 pounds. Clients load their own groceries into their cars, but some may need assistance with heavy items.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Indoor, Outdoor
  • On-site
  • Weekdays, Evenings, Weekends

USDA Bag Packers

Packers work assembly-line style to bag shelf-stable canned and dried goods. This is a perfect job for volunteers who want a bit of a workout! Fully loaded bags weigh approximately 15 pounds and are loaded onto our 3-shelf racks.
  • Occasional
  • Teens, 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Indoor
  • On-site
  • Weekdays

Share Our Hours With Someone in Need

GET GROCERIES — Drive-through:  WED 2:00–4:00 PM  |  THUR 6:30–8:30 PM  |  SAT 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM ► Parking lot opens one hour before the pantry opens. Please park where directed and stay in your car. Our staff and volunteers will assist you. GET GROCERIES by Appointment:  TUES 3:00–7:00 PM — Reservations Required Learn More and Sign Up… See full description


TUES & THURS 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM | FRI 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Items we need now

Food Drive Suggested Items

Tuna/Canned Meat * Canned Vegetables/Beans * Ready to eat meals * Peanutbutter, Nut butter alternatives (sunflower, almond, etc.) * Jelly/Jam * Canned Fruit * Individual serving sizes of cereal, granola bars, instant oatmeal * Crackers (Saltines, Triscuits, Wheat Thins, etc) * Condiments & Spices (NO GLASS JARS) * Alternative proteins * Shelf stable milk and dairy alternatives (soy, almond, oat, etc.) * Baby supplies and food * Feminine sanitary supplies *
  • In-Kind Donations
  • Wishlist - Amazon, etc
Learn More
How you help Loaves & Fishes relies on the support of approximately 90-100 volunteers each week to help us inspect, sort, pack, and distribute fresh produce, meat, bread, and shelf-stable commodity items. Shifts are offered 6 days each week and range in length from 90 minutes to four hours. Volunteers work alongside staff members and training is provided at the start of each shift, so no prior experience is needed for any of our jobs.
About us Loaves & Fishes’ primary program is to rescue and redistribute food to people who cannot afford to buy it for themselves. In 2021 Loaves & Fishes distributed 2 million pounds of food, 29% of which was fresh produce, and another 39% was fresh dairy, bread and frozen meat, providing 10 days of food per visit to 52,548 individuals.
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