Loaves of Love


In a small room, tightly packed with shelves of canned and other non-perishable
food at Siloam United Methodist Church volunteers wielding food lists smile and
chat as they fill bags with essentials and “extras,” debating about what household
children would most enjoy. Into the bags with beans, pasta, cereal, and other staples
go fruit snacks, cookies, and candy. This food is destined for local families and
distributions are scaled to family size and accommodate dietary needs; to protect
family privacy, bags are labeled with numbers. Before distribution, bags are supplemented with eggs, meat,
and seasonal fresh items.

Food insecurity exists in every community, including Garnet Valley, and households with children are
proportionally more impacted. Federal programs don’t reach everyone who needs help and that’s where
food banks like Loaves of Love (LOL) help. Responding to this need, LOL was founded seven years ago by
three Siloam Church members and has grown to serve 25 families with monthly food distributions. LOL’s
expansion was facilitated through partnering with local churches (Elam United Methodist, Concord Liberty
Presbyterian, and Hope Presbyterian) and Garnet Valley Network for Good with members serving on the
LOL governing board.

Food, monetary donations, and volunteers come from governing organizations’ members, other
community organizations, and businesses. This includes Valley Point Church, Fox Hill Farms, Fit Body Boot
Camp, Lightbridge Academy, Boy Scout Troop 191, Girl Scout Troop 565, Bethel Township Hose Company
#1, and others, and community events such as Bethel Corn Boil and Breakfast with Santa. Local
supermarkets discount perishable food (LOL purchases food to supplement donations) and donate items.
Garnet Valley students, elementary through high school, regularly hold food drives and volunteer.
Collaboration with Media Food Bank strengthens both organizations’ support of families with food
insecurity challenges in our area of Delaware County.

Families experiencing food insecurity are referred to LOL by Garnet Valley school district staff or may self-
refer by contacting pastors from any of the participating churches.

Especially now, LOL needs the continued support of our community through food donations, funding, and
volunteering (www.siloamumc.org/lol). Join us in filling a bag of happiness for our neighbors!
By Kim Lengel, Loaves of Love Board Member – Garnet Valley Living May 20, 2020.

  August 2021  
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