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Groveton Summer Feeding Program receives sizeable donation

Sue Armstrong (L) and Erik Becker (R) distribute lunches through the Groveton Summer Feeding Program at the Groveton High School. Free lunches are available on weekdays from noon to 1 p.m. (Photo by Angel Larcom) (click for larger version)
July 11, 2019
GROVETON — On June 28, representatives from the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester delivered more than a ton of kid-friendly food to the Groveton High School. According to Erik Becker, the Student Assistance Program Coordinator at Groveton High, each box of food weighed seventeen pounds and several hundred boxes were distributed to local families within the first few hours of the event.

Becker, who receives grant funding from the North Country Health Consortium to provide ongoing, year-round services to area youth, also helps distribute free weekday lunches at the High School. Along with Sue Armstrong and other volunteers, Becker helps feed multiple rec program children, but he says the free lunches are open to anyone in the community.

According to Becker, the Summer Lunch Program was initiated by Groveton Principal, Lisa Perras, three years ago. Funding for the program is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and local representatives distribute food to the Groveton rec program, the Lancaster rec program, the Whitefield rec program, and to Safe Haven as well.

"We've doubled our numbers from last year. We do at least sixty meals a day," said Becker.

He stated that the lunches are free, "no questions asked," and the program is available to anyone in the community.

"Sometimes, whole families come in. It's not just limited to rec participants," he said.

When asked about food instability in the area, Beck said it's a huge issue.

"Honestly, everybody could use a leg up, and there's absolutely no shame in that. I think a lot of people feel that. Doing things like this is a way to help everybody. Many kids are already dealing with substance abuse in the home. Food instability should be something they don't have to worry about," Becker stated.

"When kids come in, and they are not regulated because their home is unstable, this program is a way to help them monitor and allows them to learn," added Becker.

The free Summer Lunch Program started on June 24 and is held from noon to 1 p.m. on weekdays at the Groveton High School cafeteria. For more information about this food program, call the school at 636-1619.

Klumb Environmenta;
Varney Smith
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