Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Inc. began 17 years ago when five parishioners of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, Texas boldly answered God’s call to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Alan Graham and his friends began delivering meals out of the back of a minivan to men and women they found living on the streets of their city. Alan readily admits that their original paradigm of serving the homeless had some flaws, but with the help of a formerly homeless man, they perfected the model that we successfully use today.
That first trip was in September of 1998; by December of that year there was enough money to purchase a 1997 Ford F-250 pick-up truck with a catering bed. Today there are 17 MLF trucks operating in four states.
Since that first truck run, teams of volunteers have served meals with a side of hope to the homeless and working poor on the streets of Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Providence, Rhode Island; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. To date, Mobile Loaves & Fishes has served over 4 million meals, and with the support of more than 18,000 volunteers, it is the largest prepared feeding program to the homeless and working poor in Austin. Mobile Loaves & Fishes empowers communities into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.
Today, FUMC plays an integral role in this ministry. Our “Downtown Alliance of Churches” MLF truck is staffed by volunteers from at least eight different churches. FUMC provides the kitchen for meal-prep and serves as the home base for the Downtown MLF truck. Our truck goes out nearly every day of the year (about 350 times last year) to provide meals, clothing and hygiene products to the homeless and working poor in our community. More than 350 volunteers prepare and serve over 26,000 meals each year off our little catering truck. Nearly half of these volunteers are members of FUMC.
In addition to continuing the truck ministry, MLF has expanded its ministries to include the Community First! Housing Program, Genesis Gardens and the Community Works Program. You can learn more about these at www.mlf.org.
Please join us in feeding, loving, and helping those men, women and children who need it most. If you’re feeling called to serve with this ministry by volunteering with the Downtown MLF truck which is based here at First UMC, please contact Scott Wilder at email@example.com or 512-971-1525.