In 2024, Greenville Women Giving awarded grants in each of their five focus areas: Arts, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. Loaves & Fishes was honored to be one of six nonprofit organizations in our community selected to receive generous support from Greenville Women Giving in the form of a $100,000 grant. This grant was awarded to Loaves & Fishes in the category of Environment after careful consideration of the beneficial outcomes of food rescue as an innovative solution to the challenges of food waste and food insecurity.

Americans grow, produce, and sell more food than we could possibly consume, resulting in 119 billion pounds of edible food making its way into the nation’s landfills annually.  A quarter of the solid waste in our landfills is food which releases methane gas as it decomposes. Over 14% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. comes from the methane released from landfills. Meanwhile, 42,000 people in Greenville County are experiencing food insecurity.

For over thirty years, Loaves & Fishes, the only nonprofit of its kind in the Upstate, has delivered a simple solution to the challenges of both food waste and food insecurity. In 2023, Loaves & Fishes rescued 2.7 million pounds of healthy, fresh, surplus food from restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, and distribution centers. Rather than making its way into our local landfills, this fresh, healthy food was redistributed where it is needed most in our community.

The surplus food was delivered free of charge to 111 partner agencies in our community including women’s shelters, senior and low-income housing, Veteran centers, shelters for the unhoused, emergency food programs within Greenville County Schools, recovery and rehabilitation centers, free medical centers, food banks, churches, and many more. And because it did not end up in a landfill, that rescued food prevented the production of 10.3 million pounds of methane gas.

In 2024, Greenville Women Giving awarded grants in each of their five focus areas: Arts, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. Loaves & Fishes was honored to be one of six nonprofit organizations in our community selected to receive generous support from Greenville Women Giving in the form of a $100,000 grant. This grant was awarded to Loaves & Fishes in the category of Environment after careful consideration of the beneficial outcomes of food rescue as an innovative solution to the challenges of food waste and food insecurity.

At the heart of Loaves & Fishes’ food rescue mission is a fleet of four refrigerated food rescue trucks which are on the road seven days a week rescuing the abundance of food in our community and moving it to where it is needed. In 2023, Loaves & Fishes began implementing a five-year strategic plan to serve more of those experiencing food insecurity in our community by developing food rescue routes identified by community stakeholders, including members of Greenville’s Food Security Coalition; adding to the already 150 existing weekly routes their trucks currently serve.

The $100,000 grant over a two-year period awarded by Greenville Women Giving provides funds to keep our fleet on the road during 2024 and 2025 while also allowing for necessary route expansion.

By rescuing surplus food, Loaves & Fishes addresses food insecurity, conserves resources, and protects our environment.

“This generous gift from Greenville Women Giving allows Loaves & Fishes to confidently move forward in our efforts to expand our service to some of the community’s most under-served neighborhoods. We are encouraged the members of Greenville Women Giving agree that we should prioritize feeding people, not landfills,” stated Tessa P. May, Executive Director of Loaves & Fishes.