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.

Again this year, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester held a very successful High Holy Days food drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Each congregant was given a large paper shopping bag with a basic list of “most-needed” foods, and asked to fill it with non-perishable foods. Below the list was a verse about helping others, one of which read, “If…there is a needy person among you…do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kin. Rather, you must open your hand and lend whatever is sufficient.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11)

Food was collected until Yom Kippur, and loaded into a large truck, donated by Sandy Seidman, member of the congregation and owner of Safety Zone. CBSRZ organizers Andy Schatz and Debby Trautmann, with the help of SSKP pantry volunteers, unloaded the truck full of food into the Old Saybrook Pantry, where it was weighed and sorted for distribution to local residents in need.


This year the total weight of the food collected was 2,718 pounds! 


“We are truly grateful to the congregants at CBSRZ who collect such a large donation of wonderful food every year to feed those in need,” said Patricia Dowling, Executive Director of SSKP. “Hunger is real along the shoreline, and we are so thankful to have the support of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.”



Hunger never takes a vacation, and during the summer months, as many on the shoreline are taking time off, SSKP's food pantries often see a sharp decrease in  food drives. Fortunately, staff members at 16 local Webster Bank branches stepped up to fill the pantry shelves, with a “Stuff-A-Truck” food drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.


The August drive, held by Webster bankers from East Haven to East Lyme, was a big success, collecting 618 pounds of much needed household staples, such as soups, peanut butter, tuna, rice and beans.


“We are so grateful that our friends at Webster Bank were able to organize this summertime food drive. The food SSKP received will help assure that those in our community who are facing financial difficulties will have a place to turn for food and fellowship.  On behalf of all those we serve, who experience a community that cares each time they come to one of our pantries, I sincerely thank Webster Bank,” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP.


“Living up to our communities is what matters most at Webster,” said Catherine Velez, vice president, market manager, New Haven region at Webster. “Through the leadership of David Verzillo, banking center manager in Old Saybrook, we were able to assist families in need and make a positive difference in the community.”




Webster bankers team up with SSKP to help families.


About Webster

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. With $22 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgages, private banking, trust and investment services through 166 banking offices; 311 ATMs; telephone banking; mobile banking; and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation; the equipment finance firm Webster Capital Finance Corporation; and provides health savings account trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at www.websterbank.com or follow us on LinkedIn http://linkedin.com/company/webster-bankand Twitter https://twitter.com/WebsterBank.


Luigi's Restaurant in Old Saybrook has become famous for serving some of the best Italian food on the shoreline, but what many do not know is how dedicated they are to feeding their local neighbors in need.


Every week volunteers from The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries visit Luigi's Restaurant to receive donations of specially prepared food, including large trays of baked ziti, lasagna or fettuccini alfredo prepared by Luigi's staff. SSKP volunteers then pick up the food, and transport it to nearby Grace Episcopal Church. Later, SSKP's team of "Heat & Eat" volunteers will divide the trays of food into individual meals to be given out at their local food pantries.


These frozen "Heat & Eat" meals are available to people with limited cooking facilities, or those who are living with a disability or illness that makes food preparation difficult. For these pantry guests, who are struggling to make ends meet under extreme physical and financial stress, the meals from Luigi's provide more than just relief from hunger. Besides the great taste of the food, they know that they live in a caring community willing to lend a helping hand to its neighbors.


"We are so blessed to be in a community that so openly and caringly provides for those in need," said Patty Dowling, executive director of The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. "Luigi's supports the mission of SSKP through their generous and steadfast kindness with delicious food donations. And, on behalf of those we serve, I say thank you so very much."


Luigi's Restaurant has been regularly providing these delicious donations of much needed food for over 12 years.







Pictured (l-r) Joe Nardone, SSKP volunteer, Deniz Altinok, chef at Luigi's Restaurant, and Len DiBella, owner of Luigi's Restaurant.



In June Becker's Diamonds and Fine Jewelry in Old Saybrook celebrated their Grand Opening of a new estate jewelry boutique with a special food drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Everyone who brought in canned goods through July 31st was entered in a drawing for a pair of diamond stud earrings valued at over $1,000. The real winner was SSKP, who received over 200 pounds of non-perishable food, as well as a $200 donation from Becker's.



Thank you, Becker's, for remembering to help your neighbors in need in Old Saybrook and the shoreline!



Many thanks to the Westbrook Elks for their generous donation to SSKP. Their gift of $1,500 will provide enough food for over 3,300 meals for shoreline residents in need!
Pictured from left to right: Marty Rose, Exalted Ruler, Westbrook Elks Lodge #1784, Claire Bellerjeau, Director of Development & Outreach, SSKP; Gerri Lewis, President of Board of Directors of Estuary Council of Seniors; Marilou Clayton & Sue Barnhart Co-Chairs ENF Committee and Rocky Gillis, ENF Committee, Westbrook Elks.

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