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:  Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

St. John's Episcopal Church, 23 Main Street, Essex

Ellen Pfarr plans the meals for this meal site and she and her volunteers serve about 100 meals a month.  Meals are prepared mostly at home sites and some in the church kitchen.


Shared by Marge Schofield, past SSKP board member and St. John's meal site volunteer:

Just wanted you to know that I filled in at St. John's meal site last night and was so touched to see the best guest/team food and fellowship interaction that I have ever witnessed.  A volunteer was there early to open up, put out the sign, empty the dishwashers and start the coffee.  He greeted each guest by name and was so warmly greeting in return.  The team members wore name tags which added friendliness.  The main course of Mac and Cheese was prepared by teenage volunteers (high school students) who took great pride in cooking but also lent a great intergenerational spirit to the meal.  Some of the team ate with the guests while others helped with seconds.  The guests hung out visiting and interacting until the team started cleaning up at 6:00 p.m. A volunteer washed dishes, swept the floor and took out garbage after saying goodnight to each guest.  The spirit of comaradarie was felt in every part of the evening.  I went home with a very happy heart and our guests appeared very grateful and happy as well.  I just thought you might like to share the good scene that SSKP and St. John's is creating.

Here is a snapshot of one of the many Essex meal site teams:





“Group One” at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex serving dinner on July 29th, 2014. (l-r) Bill Rueb, Tinder Baser and Ellen Pfarr


Date of Visit: July 29th, 2014


Meal Time: Tuesday Dinner from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Today's Team: "Group One" at St. John's Episcopal Church in Essex


When: Once every six weeks.


Site History: St. John's Church has been hosting meals for SSKP for over 20 years. Some of the original volunteers are still active members of the six long-standing teams that serve here.


Memorable Meal: One night, due to a major mix-up, only two team members arrived - and no food had been prepared! While they were wondering what to do, the dinner guests joined them in the kitchen, found some ingredients on hand, and everyone helped to prepare a meal together. This "stone soup" dinner ending up being a real celebration, and one they'll never forget.


Today's Menu: Baked ham, sour cream potato salad, four-bean salad, avocado garden salad, Caesar salad, and homemade lemon cake served with fresh strawberries and blueberries.


Something Special: The 15 pound ham, glazed with orange marmalade, was put in the church oven at 11:00am by team member Tinder Baser. By the time dinner was served, six hours later, the delicious smell filled the hall, and there was plenty left over for everyone to take some home.





Bill Rueb


Team: "Group One"


Town: Essex at St. John's Episcopal Church


Years on the Team: 3


Jobs: We all share the work.


Favorite thing: I'm known for making all different kinds of salads.


Extra Volunteering: I also help out at two SSKP pantries - Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.


How did you join the Team? At the Old Lyme Pantry, a friend of mine who volunteered there, was also on this team , asked me to join here.




Ellen Pfarr


Team: "Group One"


Town: Essex at St. John's Episcopal


Years on the Team: 5


Jobs: Site Team Leader. plus cooking & serving on this team


Unique Recipe: Recently I made an orange chicken dish that everyone loved, and it was easy, too.


How did you join the Team? When I accepted the job as site leader, I wanted to be on one of the meal teams, too.


Fun Fact: I have a trained "therapy dog" named Maggie. Today is her 7th birthday!






Tinder Baser


Team: "Group One"


Town: Essex at St. John's Episcopal


Years on the Team: 14


Jobs: Cook and help with everything.


Favorite thing: I've studied at The Culinary Institute of America, so I especially enjoy cooking interesting recipes.


Fun Fact: I am a wood carver & like to carve sculptures of birds.

Extra Volunteering: I also serve on a meal team in Deep River with my Rotary Club.


How did you join the Team? I've always loved to volunteer and cook, so when I retired from teaching, this was where I wanted to help.

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