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The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries is pleased to announce that the 2013 Fire House Food Drive held on April 27, 2013 raised over 7500 pounds of food for needy residents of the shoreline. In an overwhelming response, it took just over four hours for generous supporters to deliver the much-needed food to participating local fire stations.
Given the present and increasing need for food services and the traditionally slow donation period of March and April, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries is particularly grateful that this drive raised so much food- nearly double the total amount raised in last year’s drive. This is the second year that area volunteer fire stations have participated in raising food for distribution through the SSKP pantries. Eight fire stations, located in Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Westbrook, Essex, Killingworth, Clinton and Niantic, generously supported the drive by providing staff and publicity as well as opening their doors to become drop off locations. In addition, Clinton Shop Rite and Clinton Stop & Shop stores assisted the drive by providing starter donations and a donation table at the stores.
“Every day the personnel of the our volunteer fire stations are available to help those effected by fire and emergencies—they never turn down a call for assistance and raise their hearts and hands to help those in need. On April 27, once again these amazing men and women gave of their precious time to answer the call of those most needy in our community. On behalf of SSKP and those we serve, thank you so much for this amazing gift of time and help—not only to our volunteer fire stations, but to all those who dropped off food—you made a real difference in the lives of your neighbors”, said Patty Dowling, SSKP Executive Director.
While the success of this drive is heartening, it is important to remember that the need for food is on-going. The Soup Kitchens' five pantries combine to distribute approximately 17,000 pounds of food on a weekly basis. Just over one-third of this food is supplied through the Connecticut Food Bank; the remainder must be either purchased or donated.
Thank you to all the volunteer fire station personnel, SSKP volunteers and donors who helped to make this drive so successful. Through their generosity, all our shoreline neighbors have a place at the table.
( Pictured Left to Right are Judy Schiavome Soup Kitchen Volunteer, FireFighter Andrew Champion, Fire Chief Tom Sweeney)
On Saturday, September 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the CASFY Coalition, Old Lyme Police Officers and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Bring medications for disposal to the Lyme Street Firehouse parking lot. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Here’s something you may not know. According to the CDC, drug overdose deaths now kill more Americans than car crashes. Prescription pain pills are driving the increase in overdoses. Studies show that the majority of young people who abuse medicines obtain their supply from family and friends. A famous athlete, now in recovery from drug abuse, tells the story of obtaining his first pills from friends. “We’d go to a kid who had broken an arm or leg, or just had surgery, and get the pain pills from him.”
We encourage Lyme and Old Lyme residents to get rid of unneeded prescription medicines that are sitting in their cupboards and medicine cabinets, as well as over the counter meds, too.” stated Mary Seidner, Director of Lyme’s Youth Service Bureau. “Some kids use huge doses of cough medicine and other cold remedies to get high. The consequences are very serious.” Karen Fischer, Prevention Coordinator added, “In our 2011 L/OL Youth Survey we saw that nearly 20% of high school seniors had at one time misused pain meds.” She added, “Medicines, remaining in homes should be secured, and that includes over the counter ones, too.”
At last April’s Drug Take Back event, 35 Old Lyme/Lyme community members turned in over 50 pounds of medicines. Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.
( Pictured bottom left - Left to Right are FireFighter Andrew Champion, Fire Chief Tom Sweeney, Officer Todd M a i k s h i l o. OLPD )
( Pictured top right - Left to Right are FireFighter Andrew Champion, Karen Fisher, Officer Todd M a i k s h i l o. OLPD, Fire Chief Tom Sweeney. )
In Old Lyme, dialing 911 gives you immediate access to the fire department, police and EMS. Emergency calls may also be placed via the red emergency phones located on the front of all of our fire stations. For non-emergency calls you may contact the fire department directly by dialing 860-434-2424.
In appreciation of our men and women protecting freedom around the world
In memory of those firefighters who died in the line of duty