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.

Food Pantry location:  Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

St. John's Episcopal Church, 400 Main Street, Niantic  www.stjohnsniantic.org

Anita Allen runs this food pantry with help from volunteers - and it is a busy location. 
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East Lyme Pantry located at St. John’s Episcopal Church, East Lyme.




Volunteers Jennifer and son Christopher cleaning the storage room.


Volunteer Linda giving out school supplies.


Garden produce in abundance!



Shopping for non-food items at Christmas time.


Here are the East Lyme Pantry volunteers moving 120 turkeys off the truck into a bin for Christmas distribution.




Volunteers at the East Lyme pantry:


Vegetables ready to give out and the cantaloupe passing line.





Liberty Tax in Niantic held a food drive for the East Lyme Pantry - thank you!

ELfooddrive2016   ELfooddrive20162

See below - May 18, 2014 Walk Against Hunger to benefit the Gemma Moran Labor Food Center:



On Halloween little treat bags were given to the children or to parents who had children at home.  Hannah and Molly Schonenberg put together the bags.  Linda Ferguson and Carolyn Miller made large cookies, which were given to all guests.  One lady was so impressed that the church was almost crying when she found out the church cared enough of the pantry guests to make them cookies.


Our Sunday School children will help the pantry prepare an extra bag of food to be given out the week before Thanksgiving.  The children will decorate 150 large brown grocery bags in their classes on Sunday, November 17.  On Wednesday, November 20 at 6 PM the children of our Sunday School will pack the grocery bags with the holiday appropriate food.  Coincidently, this activity relates to a unit that the older classes are working on in their classes.  The children are so fortunate to have the Pantry right in their own church.


The Pantry supplies us weekly with 20 frozen dinners for our Pastoral Care team.  The food for the dinners is supplied by the SSKP and cooked by volunteers at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook.  In addition to the Pastoral Care use, when we learn of someone who is “just in need” we make sure they get a couple of dinners to help them out.  A young family with large medical bills was helped this week.  They were given meals and we will work with Sherrie to find out how else we can help them with food and other necessities.


We continue to pick up frozen food from Olive Garden and Longhorn twice a month.  A few parishioners receive that food, and whatever is in the freezer on Thursdays is given out at the Pantry.  People are even asking for that frozen food now because they like it so much.


Anyone is welcome to assist at the Pantry beginning at 4 PM on Thursdays (not Thanksgiving).  We are done by 6:45.  Come for as long or as short a time as you want.  There are other volunteer opportunities available other than during Pantry times.  Contact Sherrie, the pantry director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 860-388-1988.  Any amount of time is appreciated.




East Lyme Pantry has grown quite a bit this year both in clients and volunteers.  Every Thursday night brings an average of 80 families that we serve.  Our volunteers enjoy coming to help these families and they make all the clients feel welcome.   We are looking for two volunteers to help out on Thursday and Friday mornings.  On Thursdays we would like a volunteer to help unload our truck.  This takes about 45 minutes.  We also need someone with a truck to come remove the cardboard we have.   Please speak with Sherrie if you can help.


Here is a "snapshot" of the East Lyme Pantry volunteers in September of 2014:




Volunteers of the East Lyme Pantry - At St. John's Episcopal Church in Niantic


Date of Visit: September 25th, 2014

Pantry Distribution Time: Every Thursday from 5:00 to 6:00 PM

Special Offerings: Today there were freshly harvested vegetables from the "Common Good Gardens" and Smith Acres Farm Stand. Also, there were delicious frozen food donations from Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse.

Today's Challenge: Although there were lots of fresh vegetables, the pantry today was a little low on meat.

Some Site Details: This pantry just celebrated 1 year at the new location at St. John's! It's been a wonderful new space, with additional storage available.  A regular group of 40 hard working volunteers come in several days each week. On Thursdays, some come as early as 8:30am to set up the waiting area.

"Pantry Pals": One of the "extra special" things about the East Lyme pantry is the volunteer work of a group called Pantry Pals. This summer they held a wonderful outdoor cookout, did a "flip-flop drive" for the guests, and often put together special gift bags for holidays. On every pantry day, they set up several tables and racks of donated clothing, shoes, toiletries and household items that guests can choose from.




Anthony Mastria


Years helping at the Pantry: 2

Job: I help set up the shopping carts, and help do the end-of-month inventory.

Favorite thing about helping at the pantry: Meeting new people - new faces - talking to people. I got my whole family involved!

How did you join the Team? I got the Annual Appeal letter in the mail, and read the brochure. I needed community service hours for college, so I came here.

Fun Fact: Once I dove off a 25 foot cliff at a quarry into water. I recorded it on my go-pro.




Carolyn Miller


Years helping at the Pantry: 1

Job: I'm flexible. I go wherever Sherrie needs me.

Favorite thing about helping: To see how appreciative the guests are - all the smiles and the "thank-you's". It means so much to me!

How did you join the Team? This is my church and I helped organize the transition to this location last year.

Fun Fact: I work for a funeral home.




Ellen Hillman


Years helping at the Pantry: 13

Job: I'm the "Meat Manager". I also fill in for Sherrie, the Pantry Manager, when she's away.

Favorite thing: My personal relationship with the guests and volunteers.

How did you join the Team? I started as a guest and then a volunteer at the Old Lyme Pantry. Later I was the Pantry Manager there. When this pantry opened, I became a volunteer here.

Fun Fact: I have ten children and 22 grandbabies!



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