For 25 years, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) has worked to fill the plates of hungry residents along the shoreline by providing hot meals and groceries to all who are in need.
Founded in Essex in 1989, SSKP serves 11 shoreline towns: Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook, and Deep River.
Our pantries located in Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Old Lyme and East Lyme provide enough food for three meals for three days for those who attend, and those in their household. The food distributed includes both fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, and dairy and non- perishable canned and packaged food and heat-n-eat meals. Those in need are welcome to attend one distribution per week.
Our meal sites are located in Centerbrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, and Old Lyme. Hot nutritious meals are prepared by volunteers and served family style. Those in need are welcome to attend all our meal sites.
All who enter our doors will be welcomed and will be served to the best of our ability. Those who attend our pantries and meals sites do not need to prove they are in need; only come and be served.
In 2013, over 7,200 people came to our soup kitchens and pantries, receiving enough food for 908,000 meals.
All of SSKP’s sites are located in faith communities, and we employ only a small staff, operating with the assistance of over 900 volunteers. This allows SSKP to dedicate the great majority of our funds for food. When monetary and food donations are combined, 87 of every dollar donated is used to fund our food program.
Unfortunately, more local residents need our help, and the cost of food continues to rise. Last year our pantries distributed a record amount of groceries - over 1 million pounds. Much of this comes from the CT Food Bank and from local food drives and donations. When these two sources are not enough, SSKP has to buy food from wholesale vendors to fill the gap, but at a steep price. The cost of wholesale is 350% more than food we buy from the food bank, and last year we had to buy more wholesale than ever - 100,000 pounds more, accounting for 35% of all the food we provided.