ENFIELD — Enfield Loaves and Fishes has begun its annual Springtime Challenge, the community soup kitchen’s second largest fundraiser of the year.
Executive Director Maya Nicole Matthews said the amount of donations received from Springtime Challenge, which runs through April 30, dictates how smoothly the kitchen can operate through the summer months.
“As we approach the 40th anniversary of Enfield Loaves and Fishes, we can reflect on how far the organization has come since it was started by Victor and Gloria Scussel in 1983,” she said. “A little charity effort that supplied 20 after-school lunches has blossomed into a well-respected and vital service for our community.”
The organization went from providing 15,625 meals in 1992 to 70,125 meals in 2022. Matthews said partnerships with community members helped provide more than 5,000 meals to children’s programs in town.
The soup kitchen provides free, home-cooked meals seven days a week with over 150 meals each evening.
Matthews said none of the good work Enfield Loaves and Fishes does would be possible without volunteers and donors.
The cost of food and supplies dramatically increased coming out of the pandemic, she said, and winter brought financial and financial hardship to the community’s vulnerable populations.
“We hope to accommodate all of those in need by ensuring our community is able to focus on paying their bills because we provide them food every day,” Matthews said.
She said the soup kitchen needs the community’s support long after the holidays end because hunger has no season.