Feeding the Hungry Along the Shoreline

blue dark

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.

On Wednesday, August 10th, over 20 Gowrie Group volunteers prepared and served a barbecue lunch to the guests of Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries at the SSKP meal site at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook. Thirteen additional Gowrie members donated cash and grocery gift cards to purchase meat and other perishables, as well as 25 baked or donated food items to help make this meal happen. The menu included local corn on the cob with melted butter, green garden salad, veggie bowtie pasta salad, BBQ grilled chicken, pulled pork sliders, and dessert options ranging from chocolate covered ice cream bars with a fresh berry medley, whipped cream and mint, to chilled watermelon slices. Over 40 lunch recipients were delighted not only by the delicious food but also the generosity and spirited camaraderie.

Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook has generously hosted the SSKP Wednesday meal site for many years now. Gowrie Group was thrilled to make a financial donation with their remaining funds to aid the church’s restoration campaign to replace their ailing boiler.

“I am always amazed at the level of volunteerism among the Gowrie Group team members involved!” shared Lindas Dillon, Gowrie Group Benefits Team and organizer of the annual luncheon events. “Appreciation also goes to those colleagues who stayed behind to cover their departments and to management for supporting our initiative! We’re so pleased to have had another successful event!”

Looking forward, on November 15, 2016, Gowrie Group will launch their 13th annual matching challenge with a $30,000 donation to SSKP. Thus far, five local companies—The Safety Zone, LC Doane Company, Tower Labs, Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale, and BrandTech Scientific, have stepped up to be partner supporters of this challenge and collectively will donate an additional $23,000 in funds.

Gowrie Group will be challenging the local community of businesses and friends to help them meet and exceed an ambitious goal of raising $125,000 to benefit the SSKP. Last year, Gowrie Group reached a mark of one million dollars raised to benefit SSKP over the 12 year history of the campaign. This equates to 3 million meals in total having been provided to those in need through the Gowrie Group Challenge. Gowrie is proud to launch this year’s 13th annual challenge to benefit such a strong cause.




Photo Caption (left to right): Sara Archer, Lindas Dillon, Scott Gowrie, Gayle Capezzone, Janet Nicklas, Erin Crowley, Mary Diaz, Kate Ennis, Deb Cameron, Cheryl Bouve, Shari Whitney, Linda Smith, Karen Winters, Barb Minges, Chris Castonguay, Nancy Young and Denece Herrera. Missing from the photo, Morgan and Kristi Bagnall, Nancy Sprigg and Beth Hughes.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have supported The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) by donating food, as well as generous funding. In 2015, 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. In the state of Connecticut, Walmart donated over two million pounds of food to local food banks—over 1.7 million meals in the last fiscal year.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation donated over $4.6 million to support organizations and programs in Connecticut, supporting nonprofits like The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Nationwide, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $1.42 billion in cash and in-kind contributions to support extensive social and environmental work. The contributions have furthered Walmart’s “whole systems” approach to continue advancing its commitments to creating economic opportunity for associates and others in the retail and related sectors, enhancing the sustainability of Walmart’s operations and product supply chain, and strengthening communities in places where Walmart operates.

"Throughout the year, it is both enlightening and rewarding to connect with and support organizations that are improving the lives of Connecticut residents in so many ways," Walmart Director of Public Affairs Chris Buchanan said. "Seeing the cumulative impact Walmart's support has had across the state in the last fiscal year - with total contributions of over $4.6 million and over two million pounds of food - is beyond gratifying. Walmart is proud to be a partner in the important work these non-profits do."

“The generous gifts of food and funds received from Walmart help assure that all our neighbors on the shoreline will have a place to turn in times of struggle. With their grant of $25,000 last year, we were able to provide enough food for over 64,100 meals to those in need, and additional donated food helped fill our pantry shelves. We are truly grateful to Walmart for its long term commitment to our mission of providing food and fellowship,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director of Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.3 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.



Volunteers at SSKP’s Westbrook Pantry, which distributes food every Tuesday. Last year enough food for over 1 million meals was distributed by SSKP’s five food pantries.

Jacob Kateley, a freshman at Valley Regional High School, recently brought a $100 bill to SSKP. This wasn’t his first gift - he’s been raising funds for Shoreline Soup Kitchens for 6 years - and to date he had given a total of $1,200.00. Since he was just 8 years old, Jacob has been collecting and redeeming bottles and cans, turning nickels and dimes into substantial gifts that can provide real help to those in need. With the help of his mom and sister Emily, he has collected and redeemed thousands and thousands of cans, and spent countless hours sorting, storing and transporting them. Sometimes the work to collect and redeem the bottles and cans is time consuming and tiring, but Jacob keeps going! He started with a small idea at a young age, and as he has grown older, has stayed true to his goal of giving back. Thank you, Jacob, for your amazing spirit of giving!



Results from Essex Savings Banks' customers recent voting in the Bank's Community Investment Program were announced on Tuesday, April 12, 2016.  The program entitles the Bank's customers to select up to three charities from this year's list of 80 qualified non-profit organizations.  Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries ranked first in Essex Savings Banks' 2016 balloting results, earning 744 votes.  Thanks to all who voted!  Download press release here.



Guests and volunteers at SSKP’s Old Saybrook Pantry were treated to the music of award-winning violinist Tessa Lark, as part of a community outreach effort by the Essex Winter Music Series. Tessa, a 26 year old emerging artist from New York City, shared her incredible talent, which was greatly enjoyed by all, which was described as “beautiful and relaxing”. Click here to hear “Tessa Lark plays Bach: Ciaccona”. According to Mihae Lee, Artistic Director, ““EWS is committed to touch every age group with the power of music by bringing live classical music to (those) who are not able to come to our concerts.” Thank you Tessa and EWS!


© 2024 Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries