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.


Meal site location:  Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church Street, Deep River

Shirley Rutan and her volunteers cook and prepare meals on site and in individual homes.  They arrive early to make sure everything is ready for their guests.  Aproximately 130 meals are cooked and served each month.

Note:  August 16's meal will be served at Kirtland Commons, 60 Main Street, Deep River.

Here is a snapshot of one of several of the Deep River meal site teams:



“Shirley’s Girls” serving dinner on July 9th, 2014. (l-r) Mary Karam, Shirley Rutan, Christina Lee, Cindy Borkman, Margaret Paulson, Susan Miron and Donna Sheldon.
Date of Visit: July 9th, 2014
Meal Time: Dinner from 5:00 to 6:00 PM
Today’s Team: “Shirley’s Girls” at the Deep River Congregational Church
How Often: 2 times a Quarter
“Team History”: Shirley Rutan started this team 19 years ago. The early years were at the Deep River Baptist Church, beginning with a group of Sunday School students Shirley wanted to give a “first hand” lesson on poverty and helping others. Some of those kids helped for many years - some throughout high school. Adults joined the team as well, and when the Deep River Congregational Church renovated their kitchen, the Team began serving here.
Special Meal: Between Christmas & New Years this Team served a festive “Holiday Party” with baked ham, turkey, shrimp cocktail, artichoke dip, sparkling cider and all the trimmings!
Today’s Challenge: It’s always something. A nest of baby birds hatched right under the AC unit! The kitchen was getting pretty steamy until it was determined that no baby birds would be harmed by turning on the AC. By the time the meal was ready, the dining room was nice and cool.
Some Site Details: Each week the Teams has to set up all the long (and heavy) tables and  chairs, and following the meal, put  them away again. Several members of this church serve as “greeters” - helping to set up, welcome the guests, serve food, and put away tables & chairs afterwards.
Today's Menu:  Hotdogs, buns,  baked mashed potatoes with cheese, homemade coleslaw, steamed mixed vegetables, lemonade pie, chocolate or vanilla cake and three kinds of ice cream.
Extra Special Things:  Delicious “take home” lunches are given for the next day including turkey or ham sandwiches on gourmet bread, fresh fruit, cookies and chips. Also, Shirley purchases and stocks a cart full of health & beauty items and every guest may have their choice of two. “Many of our guests use SNAP (food stamps), which doesn’t allow you to buy any toiletries,” she explained.
Shirley Rutan
Team: “Shirley’s Girls”
Town: Deep River
Years on the Team: 19
Jobs: Site Team leader, cook, meal planner
Favorite meal:  I once cooked a crab-stuffed filet of sole with Newburg sauce. I like to spoil the guests!
Fun Fact: I can wiggle my ears.
Eye-Opening Experience: When I did the “SNAP Challenge”.
Earliest Team Memory: With  my Sunday School class 19  years ago. I  made up a game called “The Fickle Finger of Fate” to teach them about real life!




Cindy Borkman
Team: “Shirley’s Girls”
Town: Deep River
Years on the Team: 6
Job: Cook, serve - everyone takes turns.
Favorite thing:  I love to come and help!
How did you join the Team? Six years ago I was born again and wanted to find a way I could help people . I started at a homeless shelter in Middletown, but they had limited times to volunteer and  I wanted to  be able to help people more often.
Fun Fact: I love waterslides - so I take my granddaughter  a lot!






Margaret Paulson
Team: “Shirley’s Girls”
Town: Deep River
Years on the Team: 4 months
Jobs: Cook & serve
Favorite thing:  The good feeling I get from helping. I recently moved from Savannah, and a big reason why I joined this church was the soup kitchen.
Fun Fact: I’m “artsy”...right now I’m making Jingle Socks - with crocheted and beaded tops. Little girls love them!
How did you join the Team? I  started as a Greeter and Shirley recruited me.


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