Our volunteers make a difference in the lives of those living in poverty on the shoreline. Whether cooking a meal, distributing food —they are how The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries makes our mission come alive.
People from the following towns that are in our service area are always welcome: Madison, Clinton, Killingworth, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester, Old Lyme, Lyme, and East Lyme.
The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries has many opportunities to volunteer at our meal sites, pantries, and Heat & Eat programs. To facilitiate your volunteering we have a regularly scheduled monthly volunteer orientation meeting. There is no need to pre-register for the monthly new volunteer meetings. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street, Old Saybrook No RSVP necessary. Times: 5:30 p.m. for all mandatory community service volunteers only; 6:30 p.m. for all others - youth 16 and under need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. (Note: No meetings in November and December.) Click here for more information.
New Volunteer Meeting scheduled for those who cannot make the Tuesday meetings: Occasional Saturdays, Grace Episcopal Church, Old Saybrook.
Our volunteers understand the unique nature of SSKP and know that without all those who own the work of providing food and fellowship to those in need it would not be as successful. This shared ownership of our mission by the community, faith organizations, and our volunteers is what makes our work possible.
The philosophy of The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries mandates fair, honest, courteous and equitable treatment of all guests, employees and volunteers. The privacy of each individual must be respected. This is to insure that each person leaves our locations with all the dignity and pride in his or her uniqueness that they deserve.
The individuals and families served by The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries are a diverse population with a wide variety of backgrounds and circumstances. In your time working or volunteering with us, you may see or hear something that seems out of line with your perception of a “typical” Soup Kitchen guest. Considering this, it is important for each of us to always remember that appearances can be quite deceiving.
While it is perhaps a natural response to form an opinion about a person based on their outward appearance, we in fact know very little about our guests’ financial status and living situation. As such, all who request our help will receive it equally and without prejudice or judgment. Additionally, the people we serve will, at all times, be treated with dignity and respect. No employee or volunteer will make negative or derogatory comments about any of our guests, whether at a program site or a grocery pantry. We will respect our guests’ right to privacy by never discussing them in the community at large.
Our mission is to feed all who are hungry in body and in spirit. We do so willingly and with compassion and understanding.
Volunteer Best Practices:
A listing of best practices that we hope will assist you as a volunteer for The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Download here.
Volunteer Mini Handbook - download here.
The Move Away from Poverty Guidelines to Standards for Self-Sufficiency. Download here.
A number of local companies match employee donations on a dollar-for-dollar basis. We are extremely grateful for their generosity. Recently, we’ve learned that some companies are taking things one step further by matching volunteer time with an hourly allocation.
The Volunteer Time Matching program at Microsoft came to our attention through a volunteer at the Clinton Food Pantry. As an employee, he was eligible to have his time matched by the company at the rate of $17.00 per hour. Non-profits like SSKP could be eligible for as much as $12,000 per year. This is a great way to leverage your contribution just by doing what you are already doing!
We ask our volunteers who are in the workforce to take a few minutes to check for the existence of a similar program at their workplace. If your company does have this type of volunteer policy, please contact Jeff Ward.