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October 5, 2012

Shoreline Soup Kitchens

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to those in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty. Their work is accomplished by over 800 regular volunteers, a small paid staff, and a partnership with 12 Faith Communities who host meal sites and pantries. Between 20 and 120 meals are provided daily and SSKP also maintains 5 food pantries along the shoreline. Volunteers make the SSKP mission come alive.

Donations of food are critical. Most needed items are peanut butter, canned ham/spam, breakfast cereal, shelf-stable milk, canned fruit, and tuna. (Click here to find how to donate food). A volunteer orientation is held at the Grace Episcopal Church, Main Street, Old Saybrook on the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8pm. Once you’re oriented, you’re ready to help prepare and serve meals, distribute food at pantries and staff food drives.

 

Volunteer at Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries 

www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org

Contact: Lin Smith lsmith@shorelinesoupkitchens.org or 860-227-8430.

 

What is the essence of how your agency serves the community?

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to those in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty.  Our work is accomplished by over 800 regular volunteers, a small paid staff, and the partnership with 12 shore Faith Communities who host our meal sites and pantries. Those who come to our sites are welcomed with open arms and hearts. Our services are free and there is no means test to receive help.

What does the agency actually do, and, for who?

SSKP maintains 8 meal sites along the shoreline hosted by different faith communities and staffed completely by community volunteers. These volunteers provide daily hot meals to anyone in need of food and fellowship.  Between 20 and 120 meals are provided daily throughout the week to our most needy neighbors and those who are alone and in need of companionship. There is no need for reservations, or proving need, all those who wish to may attend all our meal sites. Annually almost 20,000 meals are provided from our meal sites.

SSKP also maintains 5 food pantries along the shoreline hosted by different faith communities and staffed by part-time pantry managers and volunteers. Each person in need may attend one pantry once a week, where they can receive enough food for 3 meals for 3 days for all in their household. The amount of food received is based on the number of people in the household and includes fresh and non-perishable food. There is no means test but we ask that those who attend live in the towns of Chester, Essex, Centerbrook, Ivoryton, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Killingworth, Madison, Clinton, Old Lyme, Lyme and East Lyme. Annually, approximately 850,000 meals worth of food are distributed from our pantries.

What are some hands-on specific volunteering opportunities most needed?

SSKP volunteers make our mission come alive. On the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8pm a volunteer orientation is held at the Grace Episcopal Church, Main Street, Old Saybrook. Volunteer opportunities include: preparing and serving meals, distributing food at the pantries, and staffing food drives. Our volunteers also provide a gentle word to those suffering loneliness, carry loaded boxes of food upstairs, transport frozen meat from local grocery stores, respond kindly to donations, clean church halls after meals and pantries and many many other jobs that help make our mission happen.

Any other ways people can help?

Donations of food are critical. Most needed items are peanut butter, canned ham/spam, breakfast cereal, shelf-stable milk, canned fruit, and tuna.

SSKP also urges all those who are able to consider speaking to those in their communities who can make a difference about the needs of those among us. From January 2012 to September 2012: 1,440 residents of Clinton registered at our pantries; 776 from Old Saybrook;  766 from Westbrook;  220 from Essex (including Ivoryton and Centerbrook); 143 from Chester;  517 from Deep River;  83 from Killingworth; 109 from Madison; 152 from East Lyme; and 218 from Old Lyme. Most of those registered come weekly.

SSKP is honored to steward the communities support to feed those in need. SSKP assures our community that because of your commitment to feed our neighbors no one will go hungry. SSKP also strives for a day when our the need for our services will be greatly reduced—and together we can make that happen.

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