Sen. Dodd: Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa is Nonprofit of the Year

Thursday, May 11, 2023


MARTINEZ -- Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa has fought food insecurity for nearly 40 years, serving more than five million free, hot and nutritious meals and groceries to those in need. In recognition of their community contribution, they have been named Nonprofit of the Year for Contra Costa County by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa.

“They’ve done an incredible job making sure no one goes hungry in Contra Costa County,” Sen. Dodd said. “They’ve been putting food on the table for anyone in need for decades. Their dedication and commitment is impressive and I’m proud to recognize them for their work.”

“Loaves and Fishes is thrilled to be recognized for the tremendous impact it’s making on food insecurity in Contra Costa County by Senator Dodd with this award,” said Sheila Aceves, executive director of Loaves and Fishes. “Loaves and Fishes is grateful for its small but mighty staff, all its volunteers and everyone in the community who supports its mission.”

Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa was started in 1983 by Pauline Brisbin and Lucy Zendaez, two Pittsburg residents who saw a family rummaging for food in a dumpster. With others concerned about the plight of the hungry, they began serving lunches out of the basement of St. Peter Martyr Catholic Church in Pittsburg. The first day, they served 26 meals. Demand grew rapidly as word got out that food was being provided.

Today, they serve more than 1,900 hot meals per day through five dining rooms and a mobile food unit. Loaves and Fishes is the only meal program in the county providing a daily hot meal. They ask no question of recipients. The Martinez and Pittsburg dining rooms serve seven days a week and the other dining rooms and the mobile unit are serving Mondays through Fridays.

More information can be found here at

Photo (left to right): Board members Chris Timbers and Brian Siebold; former executive director Joleen Lafayette; board members Pam Price-Bergquist, Michael Wilson, Rhea Bennett and Karen Introcaso; Sheila Aceves, executive director; board members Tammy Gard, Neil Roscoe and Mike Kofford. In the background: staff members Penny Exner and James Porter.