MANCHESTER, NH — The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, recently received a $75,000 Healthy Food Fund Grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation aimed at increasing access to fresh, nutritious food to those in need in New Hampshire. This critical funding, which will be disbursed over three years, will allow the New Hampshire Food Bank to host weekly, seasonal, fresh food pantries at the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester; to substantially increase distribution of locally grown, fresh produce to those in need in northern New Hampshire; and to host two mobile food pantries in western New Hampshire.
“This tremendous support from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation will help us dramatically increase access to fresh produce, meat and dairy, which is a major point of emphasis for the New Hampshire Food Bank,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. “Whether it is partnering with local farms and grocery stores or helping our partner agencies increase refrigeration capacity, we are striving to find ways to improve access to fresh, healthy food. We are extremely grateful for this critical funding, which will make a major difference in our ongoing effort to serve the one in nine residents in New Hampshire who do not know where their next meal is coming from.”
The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has been an important partner to the New Hampshire Food Bank. Just last year, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, along with North Country Healthcare, awarded the New Hampshire Food Bank a $60,000 grant designed to expand access to fresh food to those in need in New Hampshire’s North Country. The grant funded three mobile food pantries, the purchase of four new commercial refrigerators for food pantries in Whitefield, Lancaster, Berlin and Colebrook, a partnership with the North Country Farmers’ Co-op to deliver farm fresh foods to area agencies and support for the New Hampshire Food Bank’s Coos County Summer Meals Program, which provides fresh fruit, vegetables and milk to children in Coos County during the summer.
“The New Hampshire Food Bank is the go-to organization helping food insecure, low-income New Hampshire residents eat better,” said Michael Devlin, Director of Grants and Initiatives for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “We are proud to partner with them to help improve the health of our communities and to ensure that all New Hampshire residents have access to fresh, local food.”
The New Hampshire Food Bank, which receives no state or federal funding for food distribution, delivers nutritious food to more than 425 partner agencies statewide, including food pantries, soup kitchens, afterschool programs, senior centers and other nonprofit programs. During 2018, the New Hampshire Food Bank distributed more than 14 million pounds of food to its partners statewide.