Connecticut Soup Kitchen >> New Milford Food Assistance >> Loaves and Fishes Hospitality House of New Milford

  • Name: Loaves and Fishes Hospitality House of New Milford
  • Address: 40 Main St. (Basement)
  • City: New Milford, CT 06776
  • Phone: 860.350.6612
  • Website:
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  • Description: Early in 1984, Sherri McAuliffe saw hungry people around her in New Milford. She and Alma Roberson of the United Methodist Church conceived the idea for a soup kitchen and invited other churches and organizations to get involved. They were soon joined by Biddy Roger of Saint John’s Episcopal Church. The three continued to meet weekly through the winter and spring with representatives of other churches and service organizations and had a workable plan by May. Then they needed a home. St John’s Episcopal Church offered them space. Loaves & Fishes served its first meal on June 4, 1984 and stayed at Saint John’s for six years. During this time the group meetings continued and the group was always actively seeking a home for the organization. In 1990, the Town of New Milford agreed to allocate them space in the Richmond Center. Loaves & Fishes volunteers completely cleaned and renovated the space to bring it up to building and fire codes and constructed a complete commercial kitchen at a cost of about $80,000 — donated in its entirety by individuals, churches and charitable organizations. They moved to the Richmond Center in April, 1990. The current officers of the corporation are Lisa Martin of New Milford, Jessica Keizer of New Milford, and Molly Sherman of New Britain. We continue as a volunteer organization: there are no paid personnel. We operate with donated funds, food, and supplies and we are staffed by people who freely give of themselves to prepare and serve the daily meal and to provide a bag lunch to go. Loaves and Fishes receives no Federal or State monies toward our operating expenses. We continue to be grateful to The Town of New Milford which provides the necessary space, water, sewer, heat and electricity. We never know how many guests will come for a meal (numbers range from fourteen to forty on a daily basis and we have served as many as fifty-four at a single meal). Although much of our food is donated we purchase many food items in significant quantities to supplement the donations; these purchases amount to about twenty thousand dollars annually. Our regular overhead costs average seven thousand dollars a year and include phone, internet, trash and recycling disposal, appliance service, repair and replacement, insurance, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, stationery and stamps (we write over five hundred thank you notes per year). Most of these overhead costs are met by regular donations from area churches and these monies are administered from an account separate from the food account. Donations received for food are spent only on food. Thirty years later Loaves & Fishes is still a special place - a neighborhood without the real estate - that takes care of its own. We come together for 1 hour a day for food, conversation, compassion, companionship and sometimes a pair of dry socks or a clean shirt. We are currently a soup kitchen but as our name suggests we would like to become a Hospitality House: a place where all have a chance to be accepted as part of a team and have a chance to flourish and grow. We would like to grow into a full service facility where people can get the assistance they need to transition to independence. In order to do that we need a permanent place to call home and the support to maintain it so we can continue to support and nurture the spirit as well as the body. The generosity of the people, businesses, organizations and churches of New Milford and its surrounding towns continues to amaze us and we are very grateful to all of them. We are also grateful to the Town of New Milford for providing the facility and for their patience with us. Finally we are eternally grateful for the dedication of our corps of volunteers who, mostly without recognition or thanks, collect, prepare, and serve the meals. All of you provide the means for Loaves and Fishes existence.

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