Loaves and Fishes Minnesota serves over 200 meals per hour amid COVID-19 pandemic

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our neighbors are struggling with food security.

Now, one of the organizations that many people turn to is ramping up their efforts.

Cathy Maes is Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes in Minnesota, the largest free meals program in the state.

FOX 9’s Tim Blotz sat down with Maes to talk about the organization’s increased demand during this time.

Maes: “We actually say that we are the largest free restaurant in the state and we have been busier than ever. We have stayed open and we have actually opened a couple of extra locations to meet the need, and in some cases, our sites where they would normally serve 70 meals are serving over 200 in just one hour,” she said.

Blotz: There is a big demand there right now. Are you doing drive up? Because normally, you have tables where your guests can come in and participate together, but you’re not doing that anymore, right?

M: No, we are doing to-go meals. They’re takeaways. So, that’s going to be our new way of doing business into the foreseeable future. We don’t ask any questions. You don’t have to verify who you are. We just hand you the meals and say, ‘you’re welcome and we’re glad you’re here.’”

B: A lot of people are calling us right now, especially our senior citizens because they’re panicking about being able to get groceries.

M: “It’s a great option because a lot of our sites, they can just drive up. There is very minimal contact, and they can tell us how many meals they need and that’s what they’ll receive.”

Maues said you can go to Loavesandfishesmn.org to find the nearest location.

If you can help Loaves and Fishes, they have a $20,000 match going on.