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MFB New England partner serves meals with 'respect and dignity'

A hot meal, seven days a week, no questions asked.

Enfield Loaves and Fishes provides that to those who walk in their door. Those doors are open again after the board of volunteers navigated the challenges of feeding the food-insecure during the pandemic.

Late in 2019, Loaves and Fishes moved to a new location, but once the pandemic hit, they couldn't provide in-person meals. However, they again provide 150 meals to mostly transient and homeless people each evening. Since the pandemic, Connecticut's food insecurity has grown an estimated 14 percent.

"Until our economy finds its stride again, we expect these numbers to grow. We hope to accommodate all those in need," says Maya Nichole Matthews, Enfield Loaves and Fishes executive director.

Loaves and Fishes does not collect personal information about the people they serve, so they do not qualify for state or federal funding. They are one of the food partners that receive food, without charge, from Midwest Food Bank New England.

"We are pleased to be able to support Enfield Loaves and Fishes," says Jan Young, MFB New England Executive Director. "They are incredibly effective in how they reach out to our community through their beautiful restaurant-style setting."

One of the guests of Loaves and Fishes shares what a meal and a welcoming table mean: "Sometimes I struggle to find or seek community. As someone who is in recovery and has been clean of opiates for close to a decade, having community is key. Not only are they there when I need them, but I am loved and accepted."

Enfield Loaves and Fishes was established in 1983. Their goal is to serve every meal with respect and dignity. In August of 2022, they launched "Lunch Link" to fill the gap in the summer for school-age children.

MFB New England is blessed to partner with nonprofit agencies like Enfield Loaves and Fishes.

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