Community in Action: Harvard Pilgrim and City Year join forces for NH Food Bank

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Day of Action
Harvard Pilgrim’s Day of Action included construction of vegetable wash and dry stations at the Sununu Youth Services Center.

MANCHESTER, NH – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England employees today joined members of City Year New Hampshire and employees of Eastern Bank, and Manchester Health Department for its 7th annual day of service in Manchester, this year at the NH Food Bank’s Production Garden in Manchester’s North end.

More than 40 volunteers helped build vegetable wash and drying stations, weeded and flipped garden beds, installed an irrigation system, built picnic tables and painted benches at the Production Garden located on the grounds of the Sununu Youth Services Center on River Road. Approximately 60 students from Beech Street Elementary School joined the volunteers, planted seedlings to take home, learned about exercise and healthy eating, and participated in healthy cooking demonstrations by chefs from Great NH Restaurants.

Beech Street Elementary students with broccoli seedings.
Beech Street Elementary students with broccoli seedings.

“Working with the NH Food Bank to get their production garden ready for the planting season aligns with Harvard Pilgrim’s vision for improving access to fresh healthy food in our region,” said Beth Roberts, Senior Vice President, Regional Markets, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “We are very proud of our ongoing relationship with City Year New Hampshire and their enthusiasm and commitment to improving the Manchester community and focusing on the success of Beech Street School elementary students.”

During the morning assembly a spirited team of Max, the Monarchs’ mascot, and City Year corps members, decked out in their trademark City Year Red Jackets, led volunteers in a physical training energizer designed to get them excited for a powerful day of service.

“We are so thankful to Harvard Pilgrim Health Care for their commitment to being such a valuable partner of City Year for many years, supporting us through funding, employee involvement, and executive leadership on our Board of Directors,” said Pawn Nitichan, Executive Director of City Year New Hampshire. “Our mutual commitment to promoting the health and well-being of New Hampshire residents creates a natural partnership that has made a significant impact on the Manchester community.  In New Hampshire public schools, more than 13,000 students are at risk to drop out and our City Year corps members serve as tutors, mentors and role models to keep these students in school and on track to graduate.”

Community Service Days in New Hampshire are part of Harvard Pilgrim’s corporate commitment to the state. In 2014, Harvard Pilgrim’s charitable giving and service in the region totaled $2,133,950 and staff volunteered more than 3,200 hours within the local communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In addition, Harvard Pilgrim co-sponsors a team of City Year AmeriCorps members serving at the Beech Street Elementary School.

About The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation

Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim’s mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve by providing the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed nearly $133 million in funds. In 2014, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded close to $2.9 million in grants to 710 nonprofit organizations within the four states. For more information, please visit

About City Year:

City Year is an education focused AmeriCorps program that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time, team based service to keep students in school and on track to graduate successfully. Evidence-based research has determined the early-warning indicators allowing us to identify the students likely to drop out of school. By focusing on students’ ABCs – Attendance, Behavior and Course performance in math and English, City Year corps members (working in partnership with teachers) serve as tutors, mentors and role models who are uniquely able to help students and schools succeed. For more information, please visit


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About Carol Robidoux 5855 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!