Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes was organized in 1982 by several downtown churches concerned about increasing requests from people for food assistance. The congregations joined together to share resources and create an organized response to local hunger and formed Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes. Over the years, the number of congregations increased and the food distribution sites expanded also and although the Grocery Pantry Program is still the largest of our programs, KLF works with others to provide prepared meal support, senior commodity programs, agency food support, food packs for kids, and other community food programs. KLF is the largest charitable food distribution system in Kalamazoo County and works hard to promote a hunger-free community through programs and advocacy work.
The Romence Road pantry, continues to operate each week day afternoon and three evenings a month. Volunteers from Chapel Hill and Southridge church staff the pantry during open hours and help to stock and organize food to prepare for each opening. Produce from our community garden is donated and distributed to clients. This year in May we served 1,419 families and individuals, which is 25% more than last year of 1,058 clients served. Individuals can self-declare need every 30 days. At the pantry, individuals select items from the nutritional categories based on the USDA's guidelines of protein, fruits and vegetables, and grains. Each food order contains four days worth of food for each member of their family. The household member picking up the order needs to present their I.D.