volunteers putting together lunches
Posted on June 11th, 2019 by Speare Memorial Hospital

Got Lunch! Speare funds program to relieve hunger

Got Lunch 1 9138
(L-R) Barbara McElroy, Plymouth; Maggie Brox, Rumney; Julie Webster, Campton; Carol Perkins, Plymouth; Elena Worrall, Ashland/Holderness; Mary Kietzman, Plymouth; Margaret Salt, Plymouth

Exhilarating. Worthwhile. Beneficial…for the children and ourselves. These are the words that came to mind when women from several local Got Lunch! programs in the region were asked to describe the volunteer work they do.

The women gathered when Speare awarded Got Lunch! programs in Plymouth, Rumney, Campton/ Thornton, and Ashland/Holderness with funding through the hospital’s Community Grants Program.

Got Lunch! is a volunteer community organization that provides lunches to school-age children during the summer months, when many children are at nutritional risk because subsidized school lunch programs are not available. Many of the volunteers are retired teachers and social service professionals, who know all-too-well the plight many children face during the summer break.

“I’ve seen children hungry and looking for food during the school year,” says former teacher Margaret Salt of Got Lunch! Plymouth, “I have no idea how they would go 10 weeks without anything.”

The programs are busy during the winter months collecting and storing nonperishable food with the assistance of area churches, schools, and community partners. On the first Monday after school is out, Got Lunch! programs begin delivering five days’ worth of food supplies for each child in the homes that have signed up.

“Each program has its own twist, but we all stress healthy foods with lots of fruits and veggies,” says Elena Worrall of the Ashland/Holderness program.

The communities are seeking volunteers – Whatever your schedule, there will be a way for you to help. Schedules are built around volunteer vacation plans. In 2019 food deliveries will be made from June 24 until August 19, on Monday mornings. Julie Webster of Got Lunch! Campton says the experience is very rewarding and that it’s wonderful to see young kids eagerly greet them Monday morning when the deliveries are made.

The program is also looking for long-term helpers for planning and fundraising. Interested in Volunteering?

“We couldn’t sustain this program without funding such as the Speare Community Health Grant,” says Barbara McElroy, of Got Lunch! Plymouth. All funds raised, including the grant from Speare, go directly toward purchasing food.

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