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.

The Chelsea Groton Bank Foundation has awarded a $1,500 grant to The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries(SSKP) to purchase of food for needy residents of the shoreline.
“The support SSKP receives from Chelsea Groton Bank Foundation assures that those in our community who are facing financial difficulties will have a place to turn for food and fellowship.  These funds specifically will provide enough food for over 3,500 meals.  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 the Chelsea Groton Bank Foundation,” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP.
“This is a special year for Chelsea Groton Bank,” remarked Lori Dufficy, Senior Vice President, Director of Sales and Service. “We’re celebrating our 160th anniversary and we’re very grateful for the wonderful community relationships we’ve developed over the years.  To celebrate, Chelsea Groton Foundation has pledged $160,000 in total grants this year—up from $130,000 in 2013. For us, it’s all about investing in the communities we serve to make life better for everyone. We’re grateful to be a part of this rich tradition of giving back and helping SSKP achieve their mission.”
(l to r) SSKP board members Terri Kinney and Lindas Dillon, Chelsea Groton Bank manager Dana Chapel, and SSKP board members Barbara Whitcher and Ed Lyons at SSKP’s Old Saybrook food pantry.
About Chelsea Groton Foundation
Formed in June 1999 as a Section 501(c) (3) organization and endowed with a $2,000,000 donation from Chelsea Groton Bank, the Foundation has, to date, awarded $1,781,328 in grants to hundreds of scientific, educational and charitable organizations located within the bank’s Eastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island market area.  Applications are accepted year round and reviewed in the spring and fall. For a full list of grantees and information about the Foundation please visit Chelsea Groton Foundation
or contact Sue Olszewski, Assistant Treasurer and Assistant to the President, at (860) 448-4105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lessons learned in civics class transformed into tangible help for local families in need when three 10th grade students from Valley Regional High School held a “Civics in Action Stuff-A-Truck” food drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries at the Deep River Adams Supermarket.


The students, Alex Tiezzi, Sam Armenia and Ben Toles, all of Chester, explained their project and asked shoppers to donate groceries for the drive.  In a single afternoon the boys had filled the SSKP truck with 1,751 pounds of non-perishable food. The food was delivered to our Westbrook Pantry, which distributes over 15,000 pounds of food every month to hundreds of local families in need. Deep River Adams Supermarket manager Jeff Prindle also helped in the effort, by providing food “at cost” for a $1,000 donation made by supporters of the food drive.


“What a wonderful example these three young men have set for their fellow students,” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP. “On behalf of those we serve, who experience a community that cares deeply each time they attend a pantry, I thank these students and all those who donated food during the drive.”

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(l-r)Valley Regional High School 10th grade students Sam Armenia, Alex Tiezzi and Ben Toles.



Employees of the Connecticut Water Company’s office in Clinton presented The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries a donation of $1,172, representing the proceeds from their Family Fun Day held on May 3rd.

The event, which was free to the public, included a tag sale comprised of employee donations and office equipment and electronics donated by CT Water. The public was also encouraged to donate non-perishable food items which were delivered to Shoreline Soup Kitchen’s Clinton Pantry. A CT Water ‘Touch a Truck’, bounce house for kids, and other activities rounded out the day of fun.

Employees volunteered their time to organize the event as a way to help those facing economic challenges. “This was the first year we held the Family Fun Day,” said Chris Lanfair, one of the organizers. “Hopefully we will be able to continue the tradition. Nine of the eleven towns served by The Shoreline Soup Kitchens are also in our service area, so it seemed like a great way to give back. We are happy we were able to raise so much to help those in need.”

Connecticut Water serves about 90,000 customers, or 300,000 people, in 56 towns across Connecticut. Connect to CT Water on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CTWtr and Twitter at www.twitter.com/CTWtr.


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Pictured (l-r) CT Water employees Chris Lanfair, Dave Radka, Claire Bellerjeau, SSKP Director of Development & Outreach, and CT Water employees John Holland and Cathy Mullen.




This spring local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts participated in “Scouting for Food” service projects to benefit The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.

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Twelve members of the Essex Cub Scouts of Pack 4 held a food drive, collecting an impressive 707 pounds of non-perishable food. The Cub Scouts, who are between 7 and 10 years of age, each gathered an average of 55 items of food, or about 60 pounds of food each.

Additionally, a group of four Westbrook Boy Scouts from Troop 38 made a special visit to SSKP’s Westbrook Pantry to learn more about the issue of hunger along the shoreline, and presented a $200 donation on behalf of their troop.

“We sincerely thank the Cub Scouts of Pack 4 for their wonderful food drive, and the Boy Scouts of Troop 38 for their donation and their desire to learn more about those in need,” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP. “It’s great to see Scouts of all ages working to help others. In the spring months we have a need for additional food drives, so “Scouting for Food” is very much appreciated. With the support of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and so many others in our community, we are able to make a place at the table for all our neighbors.”



The numbers are in, and once again the people of the shoreline have answered the call to help their neighbors in need.  At SSKP we received 8,910 pounds of donated food through the “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive”, held by United States Postal Service letter carriers on May 10th. The food was received at our pantries in Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook and Old Lyme, and was weighed, sorted and shelved by our hardworking volunteers for weekly distributions to local families in need.

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This was the 22nd year that the National Association of Letter Carriers, in cooperation with the National Rural Carriers Association and the United States Post Office, has conducted the nationwide “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive”.

“We are so grateful to all the mail carriers and postal employees who worked so hard on this year’s food drive,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director. “Also a big thank you to all of the dedicated SSKP pantry volunteers, who helped prepare the food for distribution. Last but not least, heartfelt thanks to the many residents who gave so generously to this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.  Hunger is real along the shoreline, and we are so thankful to have the support of our community.”




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