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.

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The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries has established a partnership with a new non-profit group called “Bear’s Pet Food Pantry”. Leslie Jones, it’s founder and Executive Director, became aware of the needs of people who are struggling with food insecurity, who may be forced to abandon their pets because they can no longer afford to pay for the companion’s food and care.

Bear's Pet Food Pantry was started in June of 2017 with the idea that no one should have to choose between feeding their pets and feeding themselves. When those who are experiencing financial hardship receive free pet food, they are able to find alternatives to abandoning or surrendering pets to local shelters, keeping pets and their families who love them, together.

The first year has been busy, yet rewarding, for the twenty volunteers supporting this new non-profit agency. These dedicated volunteers, including members of the Bear’s Pantry Board of Directors, have successfully secured cash and product donations from local pet stores and individual pet lovers. Recently Walmart awarded Bear’s Pantry with its first grant. Bear’s Pet Food Pantry has provided food to other organizations, including local shelters and animal rescue groups such as Roadside Ranch and Rescue in Lebanon.

Since the new partnership between SSKP and Bear’s Pantry began in April, over 1,100 cans and 700 pounds of dog and cat food have been distributed at the SSKP East Lyme Pantry. An excited pantry guest commented “I can’t believe people care enough to be concerned about my cat! Thank you so much.” The goal is to include other SSKP pantry locations slowly as support grows.

The success of this program depends on members of the community who have compassion for animals and who want to help needy families keep their pets at home. To learn more about Bear’s Pet Food Pantry check out Facebook or visit their website at Bearspetfoodpantry.org.


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“Bear” and “Lilly” visited the East Lyme Pantry to announce the new partnership. Pictured (l-r): Ellen Rabin, Director of SSKP; Genavesse Vara, BPFP Board Member; Leslie Jones, Director of BPFP; Andrew Morgillo, BPFP Board Member; and Sherrie Weiss, SSKP East Lyme Pantry Manager at St. John’s Church in Niantic.



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