Feeding the Hungry Along the Shoreline

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get helpThe Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries is an interfaith service that provides food and fellowship to those in need and educates our community on hunger and poverty.

Meal site location:  Wednesdays from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
Heat & Eat food preparation
Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street, Old Saybrook


Five teams of volunteers cook and prepare meals in the Grace Church kitchen. After everyone is served, guests are able to take home leftovers. Approximately 175 meals are served each month. 
 
Nancy Hoffmann and her dedicated volunteers cook Heat & Eat meals on Fridays and freeze them for distribution to other locations.  Drivers come by early in the week to take frozen meals to our other meal sites and food pantries.

 

Members of Old Saybrook's YFS Hunger Awareness Camp served lunch to our guests on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 as part of their week of service and learning with SSKP.

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Here is a snapshot of one of several Old Saybrook meal site teams:

  

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The Grace Church Team of Old Saybrook serving lunch on July 2nd, 2014. (l-r) Teri Sokolowski, Jackie Phyfe, Marguerite Noyes, Ellie Sola and Tom Bresnahan. Not pictured, Mike LeConche.

 

Date of Visit: July 2nd, 2014

 

Meal Time: Lunch from 12 noon to 1:00 PM

 

Today’s Team: Grace Church Team of Old Saybrook

 

When: First Wednesday  of the Month

  

A Bit of “Site History”: From 1990 - 1995 there was a much smaller kitchen, and only 2 or 3 guest tables, with a lunch 
that focused on salads and sandwiches. In 2000 the space was completely renovated, with the wonderful large industrial kitchen
currently in use, with many long guest tables  in the dining area.

  

Special Meal: Every fall this Team cooks a special Oktoberfest  meal  with knockwurst, homemade red cabbage, homemade
sauerkraut, German potato salad, apple sauce and Black Forest Cake!

  

Team Highlights: Everyone has a special job that makes things run smoothly. On most days Eileen (who was away today)
comes to do all the dishwashing. (In fact Eileen does this for all 4 Grace Teams!!) Mike mans the dessert table while Jackie focuses
on setting the tables and making the dining room look welcoming.  Today’s cooks, Teri and Tom, came in early to make sure all
the food was cooked and ready, and Ellie and Marguerite helped serve, welcome and clean up. Gunlog Millet, who also cooks and
plans meals for this Team, was away today, but will be back very soon.

  

The Menu: This meal featured ziti with Italian sauce and meatballs, a green garden salad, a cucumber salad, a fresh fruit salad,
and toasted garlic bread, with iced tea, lemonade and a wide assortment of cakes.

  

Something Special: Throughout the meal guests were treated to lovely classical piano playing by Julia Bjornberg. At the end
of the meal all the guests were able to take home freshly picked heads of lettuce, kale and swiss chard from the Common
Good Gardens.

  

 

 

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Jackie Phyfe
 
Team: Grace Episcopal Church
  
Town: Old Saybrook
  
Years on the Team: 20
  
Jobs: Setting the tables & serving
  
Favorite thing:  Using special cloth tablecloths, bringing in extra large paper napkins, the tall  cut glass drinking glasses for the guests, and every table has a vase with flower arrangements to match the season. Today the tables have red white and blue flowers for the 4th of July.
 
 

 

 

Grace_-_Teri_cropped
 

Teri Sokolowski
  
Team: Grace Episcopal Church
  
Town: Old Saybrook
  
Years on the Team: 5
  
Job: Cooking and organizing
  
Extra Volunteering:  I come in every Wednesday and help all 4 teams. In August I lead a crew to sanitize all the appliances.
  
Why did you join the Team? After my husband passed away, I wanted to help my church and community.  God gave me a love of cooking and I want to share it.
  
Favorite thing:  This year  we scored 100% on our State inspection!
 

 

Grace_-_Tom_Bresnahan_cropped

 

Tom Bresnahan
  
 
Team: Grace Episcopal Church
  
Town: Old Saybrook
  
Years on the Team: 2
  
Job: Cook
  
Favorite thing:  I love to cook! Tonight I’m making chicken pot pies with phyllo crust. I cook every day.
  
How did you join the Team? I  knew when I retired that this was something I wanted to do.
  
Fun Fact: To celebrate Christmas, I like to go to the city, spend a few hundred dollars on take-out meals and hand them out to people on the street.
 

 

 

Grace_-_Mike_cropped

 

 

Mike LeConche
  
 
Team: Grace Episcopal Church
  
Town: Old Saybrook
  
Years on the Team: 3
  
Job: Dessert Table
  
Philosophy:  It’s always nice to help people out.
  
How did you join the Team? Other people told me about it, and it sounded like fun.
  
Favorite thing: I  like being nice to people!
  
 

 

Following Hurricane Sandy:
The Old Saybrook Meal Site served up lunch 2 days after Hurricane Sandy hit.  Thankfully our host site, Grace Episcopal Church, did not lose power, but both the church and our volunteers were ready to go forward regardless.  Half of the volunteers for the day were without power themselves, but still managed to pull together a hearty chili lunch for our guests many of whom had not had electricity for days and appreciated a warm meal.  Many thanks to all those who helped to make the meal possible and our host site Grace Church. 

Heat n’ Eat at Grace Episcopal Church of Old Saybrook:

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8:30 a.m. Nancy, the coordinator, has gone down to the storage area in the basement of the kitchen.  Here she stacks the items and food stuffs onto a cart which she then wheels to the stairs (15 steps to be exact). 

8:50 a.m. Here comes the muscle of our group – Joe and Dan – to start carrying all the cans, pans and boxes up the stairs to the kitchen.

9:00 a.m.  The lady volunteers are arriving.  The cans are being opened, the pasta water is started.  The menu today is spaghetti and meatballs.

9:30 a.m.  The first of the many pots are being washed and dried by the ladies.

10:30 a.m.  The wrappers are by their machines ready to wrap and seal the meals.  The meals are ladled into portion take-out holes by the volunteers – OH! need more spaghetti down the 15 steps again.  This is just the first time someone has to go down the dreaded steps.  All the meals are frozen down in the basement freezers.  160 spaghetti meals – that’s a lot of spaghetti today – but not enough to fill our quota of 320 meals.  Up, down up, down stairs we go.

The kitchen is getting hotter, the outside temperature is 87◦.  Quick get the fan.  Everyone is doing something and they’re still smiling. 

11:00 a.m.  Our leader says it’s stew time.  That’s her way of telling us what we’re going to prepare next.

160 more meals to go.  Change the size of take-out containers, change the inserts of the wrapping machines.  Oh, I forgot!  Down the stairs again to get more food stuffs.  Start cleaning up.  Get ready for a new menu.

We’re still smiling – everything went very well today.  We met our quota and then some – 375 meals.

12:00 p.m.  All is done, everyone is leaving.  What!! No one volunteered to go downstairs to make sure all lights are out.  Nancy does and she’s still smiling.  Thanks everyone for a job well done.

© 2015 Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries