Loaves and Fishes continues serving meals

The coronavirus pandemic touches all lives.

In New Milford, Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House is doing its part to ensure those it serves continue to receive daily meals.

“We are operating, much the same way the restaurants are,” said Lisa Martin, director of Loaves & Fishes.

Volunteers prepare bag lunches, as they normally do, and then bag dinners.

Dinners usually consist of a hot sandwich, a hamburger, chicken, fish or meatloaf, or a hand-held entrée of chicken legs, fried chicken or something similar.

Sandwiches are assembled to order as patrons come to the door.

The hot sandwiches are paired with either chips or fries, and a dessert.

Approximately 15 to 27 people are served two meals daily.

Martin said although arrangements have been made to shop in Waterbury at the restaurant supply store, the soup kitchen is in need of some basic items.

Bread, hamburger and hot dog rolls, lettuce, tomatoes and fruit are needed for daily lunches.

“Our donations are down, as they are for many organizations, but they continue to trickle in, and we are so grateful,” Martin said.

“Our faithful volunteers still continue to rotate through, preparing meals and they are our biggest asset,” the director said.

“We are so grateful to them,” she summed up. “They are definitely our heroes.”

Meanwhile, as meals continue to be served out of the Richmond Citizen Center, construction continues at the site for the new Loaves & Fishes building at 25 Bridge St.

The new building will be named the Danny Straub Community Outreach Center for a resident who bequeathed the property for the building.

“The foundation is in place and the crew is working to waterproof, insulate and backfill,” Martin said.

The next step is to complete the tying in of the foundation to the retaining wall, according to Charlies Bogie, project manager.

“We’ve been able to work pretty steady, weather permitting,” Bogie said, noting the construction crew is following social distancing measures.

Once this phase of the project is complete, the remainder of the onsite drainage will be installed.

The new, two-story building, which will be approximately 4,400 square feet, will be L-shaped with two corners connected with a triangle.

The main level will feature a kitchen, a storage area, a dining room, and a conference room/overflow dining hall.

An elevator and staircase will take individuals to the lower level, which will include a director’s office, a conference room, a lounge, showers and bathrooms, a laundry room with washers and dryers, and a volunteer office.