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.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries recently received a $2,500 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in support of our mission to feed the hungry of the Connecticut shoreline. This funding will be used to purchase much-needed food which will be distributed at SSKP food pantries in Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme and East Lyme.


"The support SSKP receives from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation assures that those in our community who are struggling will have a place to turn for food and fellowship. With these funds we will be able to purchase enough food for over 6,575 meals. On behalf of all those we serve, I sincerely thank the Bank of America Charitable Foundation," said Patty Dowling, executive director of SSKP.




Volunteers setting up for a food distribution at SSKP's East Lyme Pantry.

On Sunday, November 17th, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding kicked off the holiday shopping season with their very popular Annual Holiday Market in Old Lyme. Once again the cost of admission was a non-perishable food donation for SSKP.

This is the fourth year that SSKP has benefitted from the event, which increases every year, both in attendance and amount of food donated. This year’s drive was another record breaker – with volunteers collecting an amazing 2,438 pounds of food!

Everyone at SSKP is extremely grateful to the High Hopes staff, volunteers and especially the caring community, who donated so many pounds of much-needed food!



Every day Whelen Engineering works to produce life saving products, but on holidays they make an extra effort to make a difference, by donating food to their local neighbors in need.

Whenever Whelen plans a holiday event for their employees, they always order extra food – with The Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries in mind. SSKP volunteers pick up the food, and transport it to nearby Grace Episcopal Church. A team of SSKP "Heat & Eat" volunteers divide the food into individual portions to be given out at their local food pantries. Recently, on Halloween day, SSKP volunteers accepted a generous donation of cold cuts, cheeses, tuna and pasta salad, with sandwich rolls and fixings. This special donation was packaged into over 400 meals for hungry shoreline residents.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries serves people in need from 11 shoreline towns. They might be unemployed or underemployed, or might be living with a disability or illness, or may be elderly and struggling to make ends meet on a fixed income. For these pantry guests, who may not know where their next meal is coming from, the food donated by Whelen Engineering provides more than just relief from hunger. It offers assurance that they are part of a caring community that remembers the needs of its neighbors, all year round.

"Whelen likes to support the communities where we reside," explained Whelen Engineering president and CEO, John Olson. "Since we began our employee holiday parties years ago, we've always wanted to give back."

"We are grateful to Whelen Engineering for making generous donations of food, each time they celebrate a holiday. Their tradition of caring and providing for others has been a real blessing to all those who come to our pantries," said Patty Dowling, executive director of The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. "On behalf of all those we serve, I say thank you so very much."

Whelen Engineering has been providing food donations to SSKP, several times throughout the year, for 18 years. Thank you, Whelen!




John Olson, President & CEO of Whelen Engineering with Nancy Hoffmann, SSKP "Heat & Eat" volunteer.




A team of "Heat & Eat" volunteers dividing the Whelen food donations at Halloween into individual portions at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook.



Students from Oxford Academy's philanthropy club, "Oxford Nation" held their second annual "Halloween Hunger Hunt" for SSKP on Halloween night. Students dressed as a giant bowl of spaghetti, complete with giant spoon and fork, went door-to-door, collecting non-perishable foods from Ivoryton residents during Halloween trick-or-treating.


With the help of faculty member Ms. Jill Vaughn, they collected several boxes of cans and food items. In addition the club asked fellow students to give a "Dress Down Day" donation, and presented SSKP with monetary donations made by over sixty Oxford Academy students.


SSKP hopes other schools will be inspired by their creativity and caring spirit. Thank you, Oxford Academy!







Oxford Nation students Matthew Boor and Graeme Cohen trick-or-treating for food donations.

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.”



© 2024 Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries