Enfield Loaves and Fishes is a soup kitchen providing meals, aid, and companionship at no charge. We are located in Enfield, Connecticut and serve anyone in need in the surrounding area. A non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, incorporated in 1983, our purpose is to feed and aid the disenfranchised.
Enfield Loaves and Fishes strives to make a difference in the life of people who live with food insecurity. We serve every meal with dignity and respect in a nurturing environment. Our volunteers, Board of Directors, and staff strive to make a positive difference in our community and in the world, and the strength of the organization rests on their shoulders.
There is no single face of food insecurity. It impacts every community in the United States.
Food insecurity is a complex problem. Though closely related to poverty, not all people living below the poverty line experience food insecurity. Low-income families are affected by multiple, overlapping issues like lack of affordable housing, social isolation, chronic or acute health problems, high medical costs, and low wages. We are so very fortunate to have many dedicated, caring people who come together every single day to help serve a hot meal to anyone that is hungry.
Enfield Loaves and Fishes has a long history. In 1983, Victor Scussel, his wife and friends, established a soup kitchen, in the basement of Saint Andrew Church. It was open 3 days a week. At that time. they were feeding 20 children. Prior to that, the women of Saint Andrew along with other parishes, would feed the hungry or take in people whom they knew had experienced some great difficulty.
When Victor Scussel took over, he literally begged for money. He carried mayonnaise jars around to various stores and was actually considered a nuisance by some people. A man that Priscilla calls Richard, coordinated the purchasing of food. Victor Scussel died and his widow, Gloria, carried on with the help of the board of directors. That first Thanksgiving following Victor’s death, 75 homeless and hungry people came for a turkey dinner cooked by students of Asnuntuck Community College. Also at that time, the Rev. Craig Peek, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church and supporter of the soup kitchen, helped raise awareness in the various churches in town.
The group carried on and John Monteleone became president. He filled many volunteer capacities, and was instrumental in keeping the soup kitchen running. John was followed by Murray Brayson. Everyone was a volunteer except Priscilla Brayson, who was the Director of Operations for 34 years, resigning in 2021.
Murray and Priscilla Brayson were a vital component in growing the program. They extended the number of meals served at no charge to our community to close to 60,000 before they retired. Enfield Loaves and Fishes is built on the strengths of the Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff working together to ensure that our essential service perseveres.