Bread is everything.
If you lived in the Middle East during the first century, the above statement would have been true for you. Bread was, and still is, the staple of a middle eastern diet. And in Jesus’ day, you needed new bread everyday. You couldn’t run out to your local Publix and buy two loaves to get you through the next several days.
You needed daily bread, and if you didn’t get it, you were hungry.
In Matthew 14, Jesus meets the need of thousands of people by providing their daily bread for them (and a little bit of fish, too). He performs this miracle to meet the physical needs of the crowd, to be sure. But more so, he performs this miracle to say something about his own identity.
In John 6, Jesus told the crowds that he was, in fact, the Bread of Life that had come down from heaven. So as he gave the crowds what they needed in order for their physical needs to be satisfied, he also made sure they knew that he was what they needed for their spiritual needs to be satisfied.
Just as bread was an absolute necessity to give someone physical life, Jesus is an absolute necessity to give someone spiritual life.