Food Is Running Out at OB’s Loaves & Fishes Pantry

by on July 27, 2023 · 1 comment

in Homelessness, Ocean Beach

KPBS ran a story yesterday about dwindling supplies at OB’s food pantry run by Loaves & Fishes, which is supported by six different churches in the OB-Point Loma area.

People gather and wait for hours at Sunset Cliffs and Saratoga Avenue for food distribution to begin.

But Patrick Swanner, the pantry coordinator for Loaves & Fishes, told KPBS:

“This is the first time since I’ve started that I’ve actually been worried about feeding people.”

He’s been doing this for more than two and a half years. And it’s getting harder and harder to put together bags of food for people who rely on Loaves & Fishes.

People gather and wait for hours at Sunset Cliffs and Saratoga Avenue. All images are screen captures from KPBS video.

A good part of it is that pandemic financial help dried up in March. Not only in Ocean Beach but at other neighborhood food pantries, as well. OB’s food pantry operates on a shoestring budget.

Patrick Swanner, the pantry coordinator for Loaves & Fishes.

As KPBS reported:

Donations only make up about 30% of the food they need. The rest, they have to buy from the San Diego Food Bank and Feeding San Diego. “Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank has it cheaper and that is great. It helps us out,” Swanner said.

But the pantry has to buy some items themselves, he said. “Some items are really expensive, and they’re items that we care about, like peanut butter and tuna and soups,” he said. … “We’ll have volunteers go buy stuff out of their own pockets and the generosity of everybody has just been so awesome,” Swanner said.

Richard Searle

Richard Searle was in line and interviewed by KPBS. “I’m 80 years old. I shouldn’t be in this line,” Searle said. Searle is a Vietnam Veteran. For him, Loaves & Fishes is about much more than food. “I was losing it. OK?  And the only thing that kept me together was being able to come here and just … you know,” Searle said as he began to tear up. (This reporter has seen Searle around OB for decades.)

Loaves & Fishes also hands out feminine hygiene products, plus dog and cat food.

If you’d like to help the website is

Of course Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank can always use donations as well; donations that keep hope alive for so many.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steve Zivolich July 28, 2023 at 8:12 am

Thanks for info Frank, will be sending a donation!


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