Loaves and Fishes was founded in 1982 by Betty Anne Ford and Nancy Newell as a summer enrichment program for twelve 1st & 2nd grade children living in the Halifax Court federal housing community in downtown Raleigh, N.C. As the children began to make gains in reading and social skills, expansion funds were sought to make possible a year-round program that would enhance the children’s performance in the school classroom. The LAF staff believed that working closely with school personnel and providing daily, holistic support during the year would maximize the children’s chances for success.
Betty Anne and Nancy won a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and expanded Loaves and Fishes into a year-round comprehensive intervention program for grades K-2. They officially incorporated Loaves and Fishes as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1984.
As the original 12 children moved past 2nd grade and out of the program, their school performance dropped. They needed and wanted ongoing support! They were then matched with an adult friend to provide support. Over time, financial support grew until daily programs were in place for children as they progressed from kindergarten through high school. The “match” programs, which brought children and mentors together on a regular basis, were called Study Buddies (grades 3-5), Champs (grades 6-8) and Stars (grades 9-12).
We accomplish this through out-of-school programming using a long-term, relationally-based, holistic approach to development that involves enrichment of the mind, body, and spirit. We strategically collaborate with schools, non-profits, and other community organizations to provide critical support to the youth and families we serve. Loaves and Fishes currently serves up to 40 pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students in a comprehensive after-school program located at Mount Peace Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Southeast Raleigh, NC.
The mission of Loaves and Fishes is to empower low-income K-12 youth and their families to overcome individual challenges in order to achieve healthier and more fulfilling lives.