Thursday, November 23, 2006

Soup’s On: A Benefit for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen

Soup’s On: A Benefit for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen

Ok, so I’m mere minutes away from putting a serious hurting on ye olde Thanksgiving turkey just like a lot of us are going to do. I actually wanted to say like we’re all going to do, but that wouldn’t exactly be true…and that just goes to how easy it is to forget things you don’t see (or choose not to see) every day. All of that leads me to this…

My friend Jack Caldwell sent me a brand new CD recently. It seems that Jack along with the Shoreline Acoustic Underground and a group of friends and fellow musicians got together to donate their time, talents and resources to recording a benefit album for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen. What/Who/Where is the Shoreline Soup Kitchen you ask? Well, in their own words…

“The Shoreline Soup Kitchens’ mission is to provide food and fellowship to those in need living on the shoreline. Founded in 1989, at the Baptist Church in Essex, Connecticut, the agency continues in its mission to feed the hungry in body and spirit. In 2003, 257,852 meals were distributed to individuals and families during The Shoreline Soup Kitchens programs. This included 243,756 meals from our grocery distribution sites; 5,268 heat-n-eat meals; and 8,828 meals served at area soup kitchens.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens offer food and fellowship to the communities of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, East Lyme, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Our family oriented meal sites serving hot, nutritious and delicious food are located in Centerbrook, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Old Lyme, and Old Saybrook. And, our grocery distribution sites where participants receive enough food for three meals for three days are located in Clinton, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Also, provided to those who have limited cooking facilities are frozen heat-n-eat meals that can be picked up at any of our pantries.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens accomplishes its goals with the help of over 750 volunteers, who provided over 17,600 volunteer hours in 2003. We provide those in need with food and with fellowship, responding to all with humanity and respect.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens had its origin at a “Vision Day” at The First Baptist Church of Essex, Connecticut. To determine the need, an “experimental” soup kitchen meal was held on the Saturday before Easter, 1989, in the Fellowship Hall of the church to see if anyone would come to such an offering. Nine people came that Saturday and 14 people came the following Saturday. On that basis, it was decided to open on every Saturday thereafter.

Since that time, we have continued to grow. Eight meal sites and four grocery distribution sites throughout the Shoreline and Lower Connecticut River Valley are now provided by The Shoreline Soup Kitchens. Each meal site serves one meal each week. The grocery distribution sites provide families with groceries on a weekly basis for meal preparation at home.”

What about the disc, you ask? Well, the disc features 16 tracks by area musicians that range in styles from folk to hard rock and everything in between. Basically, Soup’s On! has at least one track that everyone can get into. In my case there were several that I found outstanding. With so many artists and styles in one place, it’s kind of hard to characterize the album as a whole, but as far as quality goes Soup’s On is excellent. All of the captured performances are great as is the individual track production which lends to the enjoyment of this varied and worthy listening experience.

So say you happen upon this disc in your retailer of choice and you wonder what would happen if you actually bought it. Well, if you read the back cover of the disc, you would find…

“By buying this CD you are making a ten dollar donation to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen…The need for this service on the shoreline might not enter your field of vision, but it is very real. This eclectic mix of songs, all done by shoreline artists, is sure to appeal to everyone’s musical tastes. 100% of all proceeds raised from the sale of this CD will go directly to The Shoreline Soup Kitchen. All of the artists have donated not only their musical talents, but the money it took to produce this CD you are holding.”

Did I mention that Soup’s On is for a good cause? I did? Well guess what, it’s still for a good cause and with each disc being a ten dollar donation, you get to feel good about yourself while getting to listen to new music to boot. To me, that’s a pretty good way to spend a Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone…now go buy a copy of the disc!

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