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.

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, employees of Whelen Engineering held a special drive for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, collecting 350 pounds of turkeys and non-perishable food to be distributed at SSKP’s local pantries. In addition to the food, employees also made generous donations to SSKP’s Gowrie Challenge and Annual Appeal.

“We are so grateful to Whelen Engineering for these Thanksgiving gifts of food and funds - and for all their generous food donations during the year. Their long standing tradition of caring and providing for others means so much to those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director of The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.

Thank you, Whelen Engineering!


 Pictured (l-r) James Whelen, Lin Smith, SSKP Volunteer Coordinator, and George Whelen.

Students from Oxford Academy’s philanthropy club, “Oxford Nation” held their third annual "Halloween Hunger Hunt" for SSKP on Halloween night. Students dressed in costume went door-to-door, collecting non-perishable foods from shoreline households. Thank you, Oxford Nation!

On Sunday, November 15th, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding held their very popular Annual Holiday Market in Old Lyme. It was a beautiful sunny day and the large crowds of attendees remembered to bring a non-perishable food donation for SSKP as their admission to the event.

Once again this year the High Hopes drive was a record breaker – with SSKP volunteers collecting an incredible 2,848 pounds of food.

Everyone at SSKP is extremely grateful to the High Hopes staff and volunteers. We especially thank all those who donated!


The group of Essex Elementary School kids known as Hands & Hearts conducted a food drive at the Essex Colonial Market on November 7th and 8th and collected just shy of a ton of food for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries. The actual count was 1830lbs. The children worked throughout the weekend collecting food donations from the Colonial Market customers. The kids were excited as the shopping carts were filled with generous gifts from local community members. There were ear to ear smiles as the kids brought their collections to the food pantry in Westbrook. Hands & Hearts director Tammy LeFoll said she couldn’t be more proud of the children. “The purpose of Hands & Hearts is to teach the children how to give back to the community in which we live. The children learn that not everyone has abundance and that it is important to help those in need.” said LeFoll. The idea for Hands & Hearts originated at the First Congregational Church of Essex which continues to support the community service activities of the elementary kids. This year’s food drive was made even more successful by the Colonial Market’s innovative idea of selling $5 bags containing 6 food items that are in high demand at the Soup Kitchen. “It made it easy for the customers to go in and grab a $5 bag”, said LeFoll. “It was a win, win, win for everyone – the children, the customers, and most of all the Soup Kitchen.” Patty Dowling, Executive Director of Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries had this to say about the food drive: “An amazing effort by those children in our community, coming together on a fall Saturday and Sunday to collect food for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. This event, now in its 3rd year really demonstrates the kindness of those in our community – the generosity of the Colonial Market customers, the energy of the children and parents of the Essex Elementary kids, and all those who worked so hard to gather almost a ton of food for our pantry. On behalf of those we serve, I say heartfully, thank you so much.”

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries has received a $700 grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County through their “Live Local Give Local” Initiative. The funds for this grant were given by the guests of Phil Putnam, who hosted a gathering earlier this year to honor his wife, Thea Putnam, and her love of the “Live Local Give Local” fund. The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries will use this donation to purchase fresh and non-perishable food which will be distributed to needy shoreline residents.

“SSKP is so grateful to Phil Putnam, and all those who gave to this special fund through the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. With these funds we will be able to purchase enough food for over 1,795 meals. Many local families and individuals will have healthy food to eat because of their caring spirit and generosity.” said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP.



CAPTION: (l-r) Phil Putnam, Cynthia Clegg, CFMC President & CEO and Claire Bellerjeau, SSKP Director of Development & Outreach at the SSKP Old Saybrook pantry.

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