Saturday, October 24, 2020

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Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries Receives $5,000 from Liberty Bank Foundation

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Volunteers at Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) in Old Saybrook assemble food and household supplies for distribution to local residents who are food insecure. SSKP was one of five nonprofit food providers that received $5,000 grants from the Liberty Bank Foundation to offset unexpected expenses generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy of the Liberty Bank Foundation

Volunteers at Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) in Old Saybrook assemble food and household supplies for distribution to local residents who are food insecure. SSKP was one of five nonprofit food providers that received $5,000 grants from the Liberty Bank Foundation to offset unexpected expenses generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of the Liberty Bank Foundation )

The Liberty Bank Foundation has awarded $5,000 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP), which operates along the shoreline from Madison to East Lyme. At the height of the pandemic, SSKP saw the number of families seeking food double, and it expects to serve 50- to 70 percent more people than in 2019. The agency also had to change its distribution method from an indoor shopping experience to drive-through pickup of bags of food pre-packed by volunteers. Anyone with a need for food is welcome, and the registration process has been eliminated for health reasons.

“The SSKP is grateful for the generous support of Liberty Bank,” said SSKP Executive Director Amy Hollis. “This collaborative effort ensures we can provide food to all who come. Food and fellowship are shared because we join in the journey together, working diligently to provide access to food for all in need. Thank you.”

“The pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown have caused many new households to turn to nonprofits for help with food, housing, and other basic needs,” said Sue Murphy, executive director of the Liberty Bank Foundation. “It’s been inspirational to see local agencies like SSKP step up to meet the increased demand for services, while struggling with staff reductions, revenue losses, and the same health concerns we all are facing. Their staff and volunteers are among the many heroes who have been revealed during this pandemic.”

The Liberty Bank Foundation awarded a total of $25,000 in grants to five nonprofit agencies providing food to people in need in local communities. Other agencies receiving emergency food grants included the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen in New Haven, Hands on Hartford, Master’s Manna in Wallingford, and St. Vincent De Paul Place Norwich. For a complete list of Liberty’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Grants, visit LibertyBankFoundation.org/grants/COVID-19.

“We’re continuing to monitor community needs and the activities of our nonprofit partners to determine where we can best leverage our funding to benefit our neighbors,” said Murphy. “Our grantmaking is part of Liberty Bank’s comprehensive response to the pandemic, addressing the needs of bank customers, employees, businesses, nonprofits, and the community as a whole.”

Founded in 1989, SSKP serves the towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook, and Deep River. During 2019, SSKP served 7,169 individuals at its five food pantries, and provided 949,261 meals at its eight congregate meal sites. The agency has 14 employees (many part-time) and a corps of more than 900 volunteers who gave 42,805 hours last year to help fulfill its mission of providing food and fellowship to those in need, and educating the public on hunger and poverty.

Since its inception in 1997, the Liberty Bank Foundation has awarded over $13.7 million in grants to nonprofit organizations within Liberty Bank’s market area. The foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for people of low or moderate income by investing in three areas: education to promote economic success for children and families, affordable housing and ending homelessness, and nonprofit capacity building. Along with its grantmaking, the foundation strives to foster the convening and collaboration of nonprofits, funders, business, and government to address community issues.



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