ENFIELD —  Loaves and Fishes celebrated its grand opening last week at its new location at 23 North Main St., where guests can once again dine inside.

Kitchen Director Maya Nicole Matthews said the organization is thrilled to invite guests to enjoy the companionship of sharing a meal together in a new environment.

The milestone comes after over two years of drive-thru and walk-up meal distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

When the pandemic began, the soup kitchen was in the basement of St Andrew’s Church, where it was founded by Victor Scussel and his wife and friends in 1983.

The operation started off feeding a couple of dozen children after school three days a week. Under the direction of Priscilla Brayson, the organization expanded to a seven-day-a-week program.

Matthews took over the soup kitchen’s leadership in fall 2021.

“Since I was hired in September of last year, I have gotten to know our volunteers, donors, and neighbors that we serve,” she said. “The teamwork of our nonprofit community to help any neighbor that may need our specific services is an evolution the town has been in desperate need of. It has been so fulfilling to give back to the town that I grew up in.”

Mayor Bob Cressotti declared May 1 Enfield Loaves and Fishes Day on behalf of the Town Council, while Executive Assistant Ariana Maggio recognized Olivia Ballinger (Oli B Artiste) for donating her talents to paint a tree-of-life mural.