Walk-a-thon to support Loaves & Fishes
Faith Church in New Milford will sponsor a 5K walk-a-thon Sept. 24 from 8 to 11 a.m.
The event will be held at the 600 Danbury Rd. (Route 7 South) church, with proceeds to benefit the construction of Loaves & Fishes Hospitality House’s new home, the Danny Straub Community Outreach Center at 25 Bridge St. in town.
“We are currently functioning as a soup kitchen, but as our name suggests, we would like to return to our roots, as 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, said Lisa Martin, president.
“We would like to return to providing services that will offer the assistance people need to transition to independence,” she said.
“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,” Martin said.
While the group currently occupies space allocated to them by the town in the Richmond Citizen Center on Main Street, use of that space is constricted and leaves the organization unable to expand its services beyond providing meal service for one hour each day.
Furthermore, the current space is now needed for other use by the town, making it necessary for the group to find a new home.
The new facility, which had its groundbreaking on June 22, would meet its current goals as meal provider, as well as expand the organization into a full service center for the community, providing assistance with job search and readiness skills, and social service contacts and referrals to those in need.
Currently, 6.8 percent, or more than 1,800 New Milford residents, live at or below the poverty line and 13 percent of all children in the town live at or below the poverty line.
In 2015, Loaves & Fishes served 15,204 meals, an increase of 4 percent from 2014.
“Clearly, providing meals helps, but we recognize it’s not enough,” said Faith Church’s Connections Pastor, Al Coelho.
“Supporting an organization that feeds, empowers and nourishes those in need to full independence benefits not just the individual, but our entire community,” Coelho said.
For more information about the walk-a-thon, visit www.LFWalk.org.