Centenary United Methodist Loaves & Fishes programs.

Most of the assistance programs from the church at Centenary United Methodist address basic needs of food and shelter. The charity, which runs the Loaves & Fishes ministry, does provide other forms of help, but those will be much more limited. Any type of financial aid will normally be satisfied by staff referring applicants to other non-profits in the Forsyth County area.

The basic needs are focused more on giving people time to deal with the crisis they are facing. As an example, food from the pantry is for short term support, and families can't continue to use the services. Or if someone needs shelter, then that may be offered for a short period of time.

Basic needs can be addressed. The charity tries to help individuals that are struggling as well as families facing a crisis. The resource center operated by the non-profit can assist with basic needs. Many of the resources are administered by volunteers from the  Loaves & Fishes ministry.

There may be goods such as housing, free food, or shelter. If someone needs clothing for work or school, then that can be arranged too. If the need is more financial oriented, then staff from the church will direct applicants to other programs that help strengthen the family. Examples of those resources are below.

  • Utility bill assistance – There may be funds for all sorts of expenses. This will include water bills as well as heating during the winter. Or during the hot summer months, Centenary United Methodist Church may assist with electricity costs.
  • Homeless prevention – Agencies may offer one time help for a portion of delinquent rent, or homeowners can be directed to foreclosure counseling.
  • Long term food needs can be met by the USDA and state of North Carolina food stamp program.
  • Information to low interest loans for certain bills, such as housing or energy costs.
  • The Loaves & Fishes ministry can assist individuals with public transportation tickets so that they can find or keep employment.
  • Referrals to childcare assistance vouchers.

Any financial help is available mostly to referrals to other groups. It is very limited, and most places will only offer it one time per year. The focus is to allow people to continue to remain in their current homes.




There are several food assistance programs offered by the agency, or that are accessible by referrals. Each is focused on preventing hunger in the community. The resources are limited though as what is passed on by the countless volunteers that work on these services depends on money or goods being donated to Centenary United Methodist Church.

A resource that is focused on senior citizens, the homebound, or disabled is Meals on Wheels. Healthy lunches and low cost dinners delivered to the homebound. There may even be frozen goods brought around the holidays, so the client can quickly reheat them.

Anyone that is low income and homebound can receive food delivered to their door. The participants must live in communities within Forsyth counties. Well trained volunteers and staff also provide social interaction to the homebound individual through daily contact. After orders are placed for the Meals on Wheels service, the goods are delivered next day. Not only that, but there may be weekend meals delivered, and the program will also try to meet special diets, such as for diabetics, as needed.

Summer meals and snacks are for children who depend on school lunches during the school year. This can benefit children 18 years or younger and in some cases their parents or caretakers. The student can be served free healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks, and it operates from locations such as the YMCA or even parks.

As noted, Centenary United Methodist Church helps homeless men, women, single parents and children find safe housing. It starts with shelter. Then case managers help the guest move toward successful independence. There are short term accommodations that are tailored to different groups in the community. There are sites for single adults, veterans, domestic violence victims and seniors. They also help homeowners who may be losing their homes to a foreclosure.





This is available as the lack of affordable housing in Winston-Salem hurts both the individual and the community. It directly results in more homelessness in the region, so this is a negative for all. The agency advocates for more affordable living options. If the charity does get involve with a certain person, then they will all also arrange for them to access supportive services. The ministry from the church also partners with  apartment complexes in the community.

Thanksgiving meals are available at partner sites, and Christmas programs give both toys and free meals too. With many families struggling to feed themselves during the year, the holidays can be even more financially stressful and costly.  So there are annual food drives held by Centenary United Methodist Church, and people from the community capture the true spirit of the holidays. As everyone should have a spacial meal, or children should have a gift too.

Holistic case management is available for clients. Staff as well as outside agencies, such as representatives from credit counseling agencies or job centers, stop by the offer support to the client. The goal of all of these is to get the person into position to live more independently.

The two most important topics are Employment and Education. These are services that offer an array of programs to assist participants and help them obtain and retain employment. Programs are designed to meet the demands of the local job market as it is competitive. This will stress preparing participants to earn a sustainable wage.

The case manager will stress overall employment readiness. The client of Loaves & Fishes in Winston Salem will be able to register for individualized counseling and instruction in job search and retention skills, interviewing skills and resume preparation. This also will ensure individuals have their GED, as classes are designed to meet the needs of the non-traditional student.

For more information, the intake hours are limited. All assistance is first come, first serve basis. Bring proof of ID, income, and other proof of hardship. Applicants also need to meet residency requirements and income eligibility.

The church as well as the community ministry are located at 646 West 5th Street, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27101. The phone number is (336) 724-6311.



By Jon McNamara

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