Retiring Loaves & Fishes worker honored after serving 1 million meals

Image 1 of 3

After decades of helping others, a Minnesota woman was honored by her peers for her dedication to service.

Kathy Tominski has worked for Loaves & Fishes for 27 years. The nonprofit serves free meals to those in need. She estimates over the years, she’s worked 7,000 evenings, serving altogether one million meals.

But if we learned anything about Tominski, it’s that you can't put a number on the amount of lives she’s touched.

“She genuinely cares about people, she cares about their well-being, whether they’re the volunteer, the guest gets a great meal,” said Kathy Maes, Loaves & Fishes executive director.

Nearly three decades ago, Tominksi started as a volunteer, but it was her dedication and positive attitude that turned her community service into a job. She helped to coordinate dinners, ensure that everything ran smoothly and make sure those attending had everything they needed. Guests say her work never stopped there. 

“She would make new people feel welcome,” said Shelia Wolf, a Loaves & Fishes guest. “She would introduce one family with another.” 

“She’s always compassionate and patient, and I can’t speak more highly of her,” said Pat Harrington, a Loaves & Fishes guest. “If they need a hug, or if they just need a smile.” 

For the first time, Loaves & Fishes gave a Golden Silverware award for its longest volunteer and employee. 

“I’m not going to be a stranger,” said Tominski. “I’m going to be popping in. I live just a couple miles away.” 

The Bloomington mayor even wrote a letter thanking her for her service. 

While she is stepping away from Loaves & Fishes, Tominski says she will continue to volunteer with her church.