In our July Nonprofit Spotlight, we would like to feature an extraordinary organization that tirelessly works to provide sustenance and hope to the less fortunate in the community. In a world where access to basic necessities remains a pressing concern for many, Enfield Loaves & Fishes has become a beacon of compassion, inspiring change and transforming lives one meal at a time. Volunteers and staff at Enfield Loaves & Fishes work diligently to embody the light of their mission, as they strive to make a difference in the lives of people who live with food insecurity. Thanks to the insight we received from Executive Director, Maya Matthews, and former Transition2Work injured participant Butch, we were able to highlight and share Enfield Loaves & Fishes community contribution. Join us as we uncover the profound significance of their work and the accomplishments, they have earned in their unwavering commitment to fighting hunger and nourishing hope.
Fighting Hunger, One Meal at a Time
The nonprofit, Enfield Loaves and Fishes, is committed to providing more than just a meal by aiming to foster a sense of community for their guests. This soup kitchen, local to the Enfield, CT community, provides meals, aid, and companionship at no charge. Incorporated in 1983, the nonprofit 501(c) (3) has worked towards feeding and aiding the disenfranchised. “Every meal is served with dignity and respect in a nurturing environment,” explains Matthews as she describes the nonprofit’s impact. She goes on to describe the volunteers, Board of Directors, and staff as those who “strive to make a positive difference in their community and the world, and the strength of the organization rests on their shoulders.” With unwavering determination, they set out to create a safe space where anyone experiencing hunger could find a warm meal and a welcoming environment.
On May 1, 2022, Enfield Loaves and Fishes Grand Opening welcomed guests into 23 North Main Street for the first time since buying the building in late 2019. Community leaders, area businesses, and volunteers were in attendance for a day of celebration and community before opening for dinner that evening. Enfield Loaves and Fishes have gone from providing 15,625 meals in 1992 to 70,125 meals in 2022 for home consumption. Matthews states, “Our partnerships with community members are so strong that we were able to provide over 5,000 meals to children’s programs in Enfield.” The growth and development throughout the decades have established Enfield Loaves & Fishes as a guiding lighthouse of hope for those navigating through tough times.
A Return-to-Work Program that Benefits the Hungry
Enfield Loaves and Fishes has benefitted from the Transition2Work program by fulfilling the organization’s demand for an active list of volunteers. Many of the participants of the Transition2Work program are professional and skilled employees that can take over volunteer supervision. “Our organization has greatly improved in efficiency since partnering with Transition2Work,” states Matthews. It is not only the organization that benefits from Transition2Work, but many participants reap the rewards from this return-to-work program that cares.
Former injured participant Butch stated that “Not knowing what to expect upon arrival, I have been able to witness first-hand the impact that Enfield Loaves and Fishes has on the immediate community. The result is both touching and gratifying.” The injured participant benefits from the Transition2Work program by working within their restrictions among others who can empathize with their current situation. Matthews explains that “Everyone we have seen from the program has greatly enjoyed their time here while making friends and staying active. They have great ideas that they are allowed to implement to improve our operations.” The Transition2Work program encourages an inclusive atmosphere where individuals can have the opportunity to contribute to their communities, share stories, and find solace in human connections.