Food program finds new home in town
The Five Loaves Community Center has now found a home in Rome’s First United Methodist Church, 400 N. George St., helping meet the nutritional needs of community members. The Five Loaves Community Center distributes food boxes including meat, produce and vegetables on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, and after church services on Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m.
Formerly the Wesleyan Church in Rome, program host Kimberly Marshall said the distribution of food for the needy began 13 years ago, first known as breads and fish. This program then became known as Bread of Life, “but the district recently told us we had to shut down this place, so the First United Methodist Church offered us their facility,” Marshall said.
Currently, the Fives Loaves community center is still in transition, but the Hannaford supermarket has provided food items to the program so that volunteers can begin distribution. Marshall said they were looking for more volunteers to help pack and distribute boxes of food on distribution days.
Those interested in receiving boxes do not need to provide proof of residence or income. Because some people use the service on all open days due to high needs, Marshall said Five Loaves has now run distribution days with surnames beginning with the letters AI on Friday; JR on Saturday; and SZ on Sunday.
“We had people coming in every day and we were running out of food,” Marshall said. “Since the onset of COVID, we have had an increase in the number of people receiving food baskets. “
The Five Loaves Community Center will also soon begin preparing meals on Saturdays for distribution. Meals will be delivered to residents of Madison Plaza Apartments, Valentine Apartments, Colonial Apartments, Georgian Arms Apartments, etc. The meals are “for those who are disabled or handicapped,” Marshall said. “We hope to start this service in the coming weeks. “
The Five Loaves Community Center is always on the lookout for donations from area residents, whether it’s food and hygiene items, or cash. They will accept food and non-perishable items, as well as hygiene products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, women’s sanitary napkins, deodorant, diapers and baby wipes.
Monetary donations can be sent to the First United Methodist Church, 400 N. George St., Rome, NY 13440, with the Five Loaves Community Center written in the memo line. Marshall said the organization was in the process of opening a specific bank account to deposit donations.
Donations can also be dropped off at the church in person during food distribution days and times.
Those looking for more information about the Five Loaves Community Center, those wishing to volunteer to pack and distribute boxes and serve meals, or those wishing to receive boxes of food or meals delivered on Saturdays, should contact Marshall. at 315-240-4608.