ENFIELD, CT — After nearly four decades aiding the hungry at the former St. Andrew’s Church on Prospect Street, the Enfield Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen will soon continue its mission in a larger facility closer to town hall.
According to Enfield property records, Enfield Loaves and Fishes, incorporated in 1982, has purchased the building at 23 North Main Street for $420,000. The site, across from Freshwater Pond on the corner of Church Street, has been the home of Silvia’s International Restaurant and Banquet Facility since 1999.
Francie Berger, managing director of finance and administration for the soup kitchen, said the acquisition is timely in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to forego our usual method of serving meals indoors,” Berger said. “Instead, our visitors must line up outdoors to receive their meals in takeout containers. While we have been fortunate to have experienced mild weather to date, winter is coming and we do not want to have our clients wait in the cold and snow for their meals.”
Renovations on the new building are slated to begin next week. A major fundraising campaign to help with construction costs is being planned.
“COVID has hit our families, friends and neighbors hard and the need for our services has skyrocketed,” Berger said. “We are excited to kick off this project to allow us to better serve our community.”
Berger said the nonprofit organization hopes to have its new facility ready just before Christmas.
“I am uncertain as to how realistic that might be, but all involved will be doing their best to get the job done,” she said.
The soup kitchen is always in need of volunteers, and those interested may contact Priscilla Brayson at 860-741-0226. Donations may be dropped off at the back entrance on Thompson Court, at the white building on the left attached to the church, or sent to 28 Prospect Street, Enfield, CT 06082.
More information is available at https://enfieldloavesandfishes.com/.
This story is part of Patch’s new partnership with Feeding America. Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2020, more than 54 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.