LACONIA — Nearly 200 local families stocked the shelves of their kitchen pantries yesterday when the New Hampshire Food Bank, partnering with the Dead River Company, brought its Mobile Food Pantry to Sacred Heart Church.
Rick Carter, agency relations manager for the Food Bank, said that each family received two jars of peanut butter, two bottles of jelly, two cans of peaches, four cans of pasta sauce, two packages of macaroni, four cans of pork and beans, four cans of chicken noodle soup, two cans of beef stew, eight juice boxes, eight cans of tuna, 10 pounds of potatoes and Stoneyfield Farm yogurt "while it lasted."
"We do these distributions whenever we have a sponsor," Carter said. "Today the Dead River Company helped us out."
Kim Weiland, area manager for the Maine-based fuel oil company, said that the firm has two primary charitable missions — heat security and food security. For the past two years the company has partnered with the Food Bank and the New Hampshire Fishers Cats, the minor league baseball team in Manchester, contributing some $50,000 annually toward providing foodstuffs to needy families.
The Food Bank provided the provisions while more than a dozen employees from the Dead River Company's office in Bristol distributed them, together with sturdy tote bags.
Carter said that some sponsors chose to serve particular communities, but otherwise the Food Bank "identifies and focuses on those that that are underserved." He said that "winter is widely considered the most difficult season, but summer can tough with kids out of school and going without school lunches."
Earlier this summer the Food Bank and the Dead River Company partnered in Manchester and Weiland said that a third event was scheduled, "most likely somewhere on the Seacoast."
"We always send more than enough food," Carter said, explaining that what is not distributed is given to local food pantries registered with the Food Bank. What was left yesterday will be on the shelves at the Christ Life Center Food Pantry at the Lakes Region Vineyard Church at 175 Mechanic Street on Thursdays between 9 a.m. and noon.