OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — Firefighters typically help the community by fighting fires, but several departments along the shoreline also helped fight hunger on Saturday.

They collected non-perishable food for pantries run by The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, which serves 11 towns on the shoreline.

News 8 stopped by the Old Saybrook Fire Department, where Chief Meteorologist Gil Simmons helped collect food donations. Firefighters say there’s a huge need. They see families that used to donate end up needing help.

“Last year they broke the record of over a million meals served,” said Max Sabrin of the Old Saybrook Fire Department. “I’m getting the chills telling you that because people don’t realize that when one family member loses a job, it’s bad. When two, it’s a crisis situation.”

Fire departments in Westbrook, Clinton, Essex, Killingworth and Chester also collected food for those in need.