Foundation helps food program restock after fire

April 14, 2015
seacoastonline.com

Portsmouth firefighter Russell Osgood walks out of the smoke-filled interior of the United Methodist Church

Portsmouth firefighter Russell Osgood walks out of the smoke-filled interior of the United Methodist Church

PORTSMOUTH — The Little Harbour Charitable Foundation has come to the aid of the End 68 Hours of Hunger program that lost $4,000 worth of food following a fire in the First United Methodist Church on Miller Avenue April 6.

The foundation announced a donation of $5,000 to offset the loss of food that is dedicated to helping local children. Foundation President Paul Holloway said the LHCF’s mission is to make a discernible difference in the lives of children, youth and families in the Seacoast. Holloway said foundation members acted immediately after hearing the news.

“Childhood hunger is simply not acceptable today,” Hollway said. “In New Hampshire, 18.7 percent of our children are deemed food insecure. A donation of $5,000 from the Little Harbour Charitable Foundation will offset the loss and ensured no local children went hungry.”

Jennifer Berry, Portsmouth coordinator for End 68 Hours of Hunger, said the food was stored in the church where it is replenished weekly after volunteers bag it for distribution to 92 Portsmouth school children. Due to smoke damage, most of the food had to be discarded, she said.

The five-year-old local program is entirely volunteer driven. Groceries are distributed through school nurses at the lower grades and by guidance counselors at the high school. Distribution is anonymous and parents just need to sign a permission slip to enroll their children and the program covers students in all of Portsmouth’s six schools, Berry said.

Berry said anyone interested in helping the Portsmouth End 68 Hours of Hunger program can send a check to End 68 Hours of Hunger – Portsmouth, c/o First United Methodist Church, 129 Miller Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03833.