“Help keep our neighbors in need fed and healthy.”

March 2, 2021


ENFIELD — The Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen received a $25,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation just in time to help with its relocation.

The soup kitchen recently moved from 28 Prospect St. to an upgraded facility at 23 N. Main St., where it began operating last week.

It was one of a handful of food distribution facilities around the state selected to receive grants from the foundation.

Loaves and Fishes Director Priscilla Brayson said the donation was completely unexpected.

“It took a little bit for the brain to absorb,” Brayson said.

“When I opened up that priority mail, and I saw that $25,000 I was in tears,” Brayson added.

The money couldn’t have come at a better time for multiple reasons, Brayson said.

The number of meals Loaves and Fishes distributes each day has just about doubled during the pandemic, she said. The soup kitchen distributed almost 250 meals last Friday, which Brayson said is now about average.

“It’s the new normal,” she said. Establishments like ours take on new significance in emergencies.”

Another reason Brayson called this the perfect time to receive a donation of this magnitude is the soup kitchen’s recent move.

She said the money will help pay for the move and for essential supplies suh as food and distribution bags.

The new facility has a drive-thru window to serve people in cars, while its front door is available for anyone arriving on foot.

More distance from neighbors and an increase in available parking are two more reasons the new location is an improvement, Brayson said.

Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, said he was pleased to see the money go to an organization that he knows well and understands to be crucial during the pandemic.

“Enfield, like so many other Connecticut communities, relies on local food pantries and distribution facilities to help keep our neighbors in need fed and healthy,” Kissel said.

The James M. Cox Foundation is the charitable arm of Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications and Cox Automotive.