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 term "Black Friday" usually brings to mind images of midnight trips to the local mall and crowds of shoppers pushing at the doors of super stores. Now, thanks to a group of talented musicians and volunteers, "Black Friday" means beautiful music, harmonic singing, and the spirit of caring for the needs of others. This year's much-anticipated "Black Friday Concert" at The Kate to benefit SSKP sold nearly every seat in the house and raised an amazing $6,337 – a 72% increase over last year's event. All of these funds will be matched dollar for dollar by the Gowrie Challenge, resulting in a donation which will provide 30,176 meals worth of food!


The concert, now in its seventh year, was held on November 29th at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook and featured performances by AGNELLI & RAVE, THE LICHTER BROTHERS, EBIN-ROSE, MOVING TARGET, and THE MEADOWS BROTHERS. These diverse groups brought together a wide range of fans that enjoyed a fantastic evening of live music for a great cause – feeding their shoreline neighbors in need.


On behalf of the staff and volunteers at SSKP, and especially the many local people who this will be helping – we are so very grateful!



November’s High Hopes Holiday Market, held by High Hopes Therapeutic Riding of Old Lyme, once again filled the SSKP truck with a bounty of non-perishable food. The drive resulted in the most food ever collected by the “Holiday Hoedown” event – a whopping 2,348 pounds!

This is the third year that SSKP has benefitted from the event, which grows every year in size and generosity. We are truly grateful to the High Hopes staff, volunteers and everyone who donated to the food drive!



For the 10th year, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company spent all day Tuesday preparing for our Thanksgiving meal!  We are so grateful also to Structural Graphics and the Essex Lions club for providing food.  Thanks to everyone who make this special meal possible!

On Halloween night a team of students from Oxford Academy in Westbrook went on a scavenger hunt for canned goods to benefit The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries as part of SSKP's "Halloween Hunger Hunt".  Dressed as cans of soup and tuna fish, they collected non-perishable foods from Ivoryton residents during Halloween trick-or-treating.   The students belong to the school philanthropy club called Oxford Nation.  Students, accompanied by faculty member Ms. Vaughn, came home with nearly 100 cans and food items, and also presented SSKP with monetary donations collected by the club.

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"I thoroughly enjoyed getting out into the community and demonstrating the value of raising awareness as well as gathering nutritious food over Halloween, a time when people often overlook the needs of others," said Edward Hargrave, President of Oxford Nation.  "We had a lot of fun and people were very generous."

SSKP hopes many other student groups will be inspired by the creativity and giving spirit of Oxford Nation!

The Liberty Bank Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries to support the purchase of food from the CT Food Bank.


“The support  SSKP receives from The Liberty Bank Foundation assures that those in our community who are in need will have a place to turn for food and fellowship in these difficult economic times.  We are blessed to receive this donation, and will use it wisely and frugally to provide healthful and bountiful food at our pantries.  These funds specifically will provide almost 12,000 meals worth of groceries to those who attend one of our five weekly pantries.  On behalf of those we serve, who experience a community that cares deeply each time they attend a pantry, I thank The Liberty Bank Foundation for answering the call of those in need on the shoreline,” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP.


“The high cost of living and continued economic downturn make these services more critical than ever,” said Leigh-Bette Maynard, manager of Liberty Bank’s Essex office.  “People may not think of the shoreline as a place where people need help with food, but need exists in every community.  Liberty is proud to be a long-time supporter of Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.”



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Since its inception in 1997, the Liberty Bank Foundation has awarded almost $7.9 million in grants to nonprofit organizations within Liberty Bank’s market area.  The foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for people of low or moderate income by investing in three areas:  education to promote economic success for children and families; affordable housing; and nonprofit capacity building.  Along with its grantmaking, the foundation strives to foster the convening and collaboration of nonprofits, funders, business, and government to address community issues.

Established in 1825, Liberty Bank is Connecticut’s oldest mutual bank, with almost $3.5 billion in assets and 48 banking offices throughout the central, eastern, and shoreline areas of the state.  As a full-service financial institution, it offers consumer and commercial banking, home mortgages, insurance, and investment services.  Rated outstanding by federal regulators on its community reinvestment efforts, Liberty maintains a longstanding commitment to superior personal service and unparalleled community involvement.

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