History

1984 - St. Raphael Church opened a pantry to assist families in need of food. Eight families were helped that year. Check out this article from The Naperville Sun in 1984 discussing the introduction of Loaves & Fishes.

1991 - 18 area churches and civic groups came together to organize the Pantry as a not-for-profit corporation to meet the needs of Naperville.

1992 - Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry opened its doors at its new location on West 5th Avenue.

1999 - A move is made to a larger location at 556 West 5th Avenue as more than 3,000 food distributions are provided during the year.

2000 - A home delivery program to assist senior citizens and disabled residents living in government-subsidized housing is established.

2002 - A warehouse is added at 552 West 5th Avenue to accommodate growth in food distributions to more than 9,000 per year.

2003 - Home delivery grows to include five sites. Food distributions climb to more than 10,000 for the year.

2004 - School nutrition initiative established to provide summer meals for Naperville students, and we distribute more than 17,000 lunches. Approximately 950 Naperville students in grades 1-12 qualified for government lunches during the prior schools year.

2005 - Breakfast assistance program established, providing granola bars to school-aged children.

2006 - The warehouse is moved next door to 554 West 5th Avenue, allowing us to combine that unit with 556 to better serve our recipients. Mayor Pradel cuts the ribbon at a dedication ceremony.

2007 - In the fiscal year ended June 30, Loaves & Fishes provided a record 1,000,000 pounds of food and other essentials to 1,675 families totaling nearly 5,600 individuals.

2008 - Loaves & Fishes provided 1,800 struggling families with over 5,000 bags of groceries each month. Land was purchased for construction of a much-needed, larger facility at 1835 High Grove Lane in Naperville. Client Choice distribution system implemented to allow clients to shop for the food they need.

Charles McLimans was named Executive Director. Also in 2008, Loaves & Fishes was named a finalist for Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Not-for-Profit of the Year; named a finalist for Naperville Jaycees Distinguished Service Award.

The first Day Without Hunger is celebrated.

2009 - A fourth food distribution session is added in response to a 60% increase in new enrollments over the same time period last year. Loaves & Fishes is named Not-for-Profit Small Business of the Year by the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

2010 - Service area expands to include all of DuPage County. Construction begins on new facility at 1871 High Grove Lane.

2011 - Move to new facility at 1871 High Grove Lane and begin Pathways to Empowerment programs.

2012 - After meeting with engaged community stakeholders, Loaves & Fishes’ Board of Directors passes our five-year Strategic Plan.