Shoreline fire departments host annual food drive

(WTNH / Gil Simmons)

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — Multiple fire departments on the shoreline teamed up for their sixth annual food drive on Saturday.

The drive benefited local food pantries run by the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. The Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries hoped to include all fire departments in the 11 shoreline towns that they serve. The fire departments that already had committed to the event included: Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Essex, North Madison and Chester, although all area departments were encouraged to participate.

News 8’s Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons stopped by the Old Saybrook Fire Department. Old Saybrook alone collected a record breaking 2,626 pounds of food and over $725 in cash and checks, which was also a record breaking amount.

Gil’s parents and one of his friends showed up to show support of the food drive, too! People came from as far as Branford to donate.

The event collected food items and cash. This time of year is when food donations are low so the food drive helps to restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in the community has food on the table. The Soup Kitchens’ five pantries distributed over 1 million pounds of food last year to residents in need. Only 40% of the needed food comes from the Connecticut Food Bank. The rest of the food must be either purchased or donated. The Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries remind residents that every item is appreciated.

The food drive was from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The locations that accepted donations were:

  • Old Saybrook:
    • Old Saybrook Fire Department at 310 Main Street
    • Stop and Shop
    • Big Y
  • Westbrook
    • Westbrook Fire Department at 15 South Main Street
  • Essex:
    • Essex Fire Department at 11 Saybrook Road
  • Clinton:
    • Clinton Fire Department at 35 East Main Street
  • North Madison
    • North Madison Fire Department at 864 Opening Hill Road
  • Chester:
    • Chester Fire Department at 6 High Street

Last year’s drive collected four thousand pounds of food. This year, their goal is six thousand.

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