Feeding the Hungry Along the Shoreline

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All our heartfelt thanks to those in our community who work so hard to help feed our neighbors in need.

  • Why I Support SSKP

    Why do you support SSKP? Every story of why we receive gifts of time, food and funds is unique. Rece...
  • Starbucks Donation

    Baristas at the Old Saybrook Starbucks presented SSKP volunteer Lindas Dillon with a $300 donation, ...

Stories of Giving

Why do you support SSKP? Every story of why we receive gifts of time, food and funds is unique. Recently Rev. Amy Hollis, our chair of the Board of Directors, shared her “Story of Why”:


“Having the vision to “see the need” has been with me since childhood.

My childhood church in Portland, Oregon was a host site of an interfaith program called Snowcap Community Charities, which is still there today. They collected food and clothing to distribute, as well as other help for people in need. I still remember the big Snowcap barrel right in the narthex when you walked into the church. Everyone would bring in cans or coats. Our pastor’s son used to say that he never knew if his coat would be hanging in his closet, because if his father saw a child who needed it, it would go into the barrel.

Once when I was helping out, my job was to put “Hunger Around the World” placemats on the table. I read about the tens of thousands of children who were dying of hunger worldwide, and I just couldn’t get over. I still can’t. The incomprehensible truth that this was happening left a sore spot in my heart that never left me, and it still makes me emotional. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to get involved. For me, seeing the numbers of how many were hurting, made the problem seem insurmountable. If I couldn’t solve it - how could I make a difference?

As an adult, when my family started attending The First Baptist Church in Essex, I became aware of SSKP. Shoreline Soup Kitchens is so integrated into their community. My very first connection was helping with the spring Postal Food Drive. Hundreds of pounds of food was brought to the church to be sorted and boxed up. Then my husband Scott and I started volunteering at the Monday meal site at Essex Baptist. For a while Scott was the Site Coordinator, too. Whenever a team needed help, we’d fill in. We also helped with the bread pick up at Colonial Market. After I was called to be the pastor at Winthrop Baptist Church, I became a member of the SSKP Board. I have a history of being involved, but I know there’s no one person that does it all.

Part of my passion is the awareness of the interconnectedness of everything. When ALICE is in need - I feel it. It hurts me if someone else is hurting. The more I do to help another person, the more I heal myself, and the more the world can heal. That connection we all have to each other is something not everyone recognizes, but the small things we do all have an effect, here and across the world.

SSKP is, for me, a beautiful expression of what we can accomplish when we work together. Because of all the volunteers, staff, and community support so many folks know where their next meal will come from. I am grateful for this organization that seeks to meet basic needs.”
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have generously supported The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) by donating food, as well as grant funding. In 2016, the Walmart Foundation’s grant of $25,000 was used to purchase fresh and non-perishable food, which was distributed weekly to residents in an 11-town region through SSKP’s five food pantries.

“The generous gifts of food and funds received from Walmart help assure that all our neighbors on the shoreline will know they can feed their families, even in times of economic struggle. With their grant of $25,000 last year, we were able to provide enough food for over 80,645 meals to those in need, and additional donated food was also greatly appreciated. Walmart’s long term commitment to our mission of providing food and fellowship makes a real difference in people’s lives on the shoreline, and we are grateful for their support,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director of The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.


Thank you Old Saybrook Rotary Club, and President Gerri Lewis, for the recent donation of $1,500!


Baristas at the Old Saybrook Starbucks presented SSKP volunteer Lindas Dillon with a $300 donation, proceeds from their 2nd Annual Holiday Ornament sale, featuring hand decorated coffee cup ornaments. Thank you, Starbucks! 


Connecticut Water recently made a $2,500 donation to SSKP’s “Gowrie Challenge, through a special promotion held in 2016. Between April and October, every time a CT Water customer signed up for paperless E-billing, the company pledged a $1 donation to benefit local food pantries. By joining the Gowrie Challenge, they were able to leverage their gift with matching funds, helping to provide even more food to those in need.

“Water and food are two things that everyone recognizes as our most basic needs”, said Patty Dowling, SSKP Executive Director. “We feel so blessed that CT Water and their customers came together to provide such generous support to our community. Thank you!”


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Pictured (l-r) Kay Ann Laud, CT Water Customer Account Analyst, Lindas Dillon, Gowrie employee and former SSKP Board member, Ruth Brown, CT Water Customer Service Coordinator, Patty Dowling, SSKP Executive Director, Art O'Neill, CT Water Director of Customer Service, and Chris Broduer, Gowrie Group Senior Vice President.

© 2015 Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries