New home in the offing for Loaves & Fishes?
Sarah Straub has a dream of leaving a lasting legacy in memory of her late husband, Danny.
It is a dream she is sharing with the New Milford community.
Straub signed a contract recently with the Board of Directors of Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House to sell her property at 25-29 Bridge Street to the soup kitchen.
If all town approvals were to go through, the former Straub's Plumbing building there would become Loaves & Fishes property.
The building would be razed and a new building would be constructed.
"We aren't rebuilding just to house Loaves & Fishes," said Lisa Martin, Loaves' president. "The building will be the Danny Straub Community Outreach Center. We'll invite other nonprofits to join us there."
Dan Straub, who died last year, always "worked quietly," reaching out and supporting those in his community who needed a helping hand, Martin said.
Sarah Straub now cooks at Loaves & Fishes.
"This comes from the heart to be able to do this," said Straub, who has agreed to hold the mortgage. "Danny and I believed in giving back to our community. Doing this is very healing for me. What an honor to be able to reach others in my husband's memory."
Loaves & Fishes has been searching for a permanent location since December.
The nonprofit organization has leased a site for the past 20 years in the basement of the town-owned Richmond Citizen Center for $1 a year.
Conflicts with other entities in the building, space concerns and a homeless presence on the Village Green prompted Mayor Pat Murphy to suggest the soup kitchen relocate.
"I hope they get to do what they want," Murphy said Tuesday. "Their move will help with the space needs at the Richmond (Citizen) Center and they can customize the new site to their needs."
A capital campaign will be launched on Labor Day. Engraved bricks for the building entrance are available for $100 each.
"This is very exciting. We are looking forward to having a permanent home," Sherman said. "My parents would have been leading our capital campaign if not for their serious health issues.
"We will look to New Milford's leaders to take a leadership role in feeding New Milford's hungry. All of New Milford and surrounding towns will be asked to generously contribute."