Service in the air on Presidential campaigns; NH Food Bank faces critical shortage

Posted by aaronjmarquez on November 8, 2007

U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) are asking their supporters to take action – and they don’t (just) mean phonebanking or canvassing. They’re asking for folks to give back directly to their communities.

Through Thanksgiving, the Clinton campaign will collect food for those in need this holiday season.

During Thanksgiving week and through the end of November, the campaign will deliver food and other items collected to shelters and pantries throughout the state.

“Serving the ‘least of these’ in our communities is the ultimate contribution to the common good. We are all blessed when we join together to offer a helping hand,” said Senator Clinton. “I am heartened that my campaign is joining with the people of New Hampshire in lifting up our fellow Americans in need as we enter the holiday season.”

All food donations should be non-perishable. Canned and dry foods in bulk are preferred. Toiletry items are also being collected.

Obama supporters are volunteering and collecting food while knocking on doors to spread the message of their campaign.

Obama staff and volunteers will continue give back to the communities where they live and work. In Berlin on Wednesday, Obama volunteers will lend a hand to the local senior meals program. And while canvassing in Nashua on Saturday, supporters will collect canned and non-perishable food items to donate to the Nashua Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen.

Last night at the 5th annual Spirit of New Hampshire Awards presented by Governor John Lynch (D-NH), the New Hampshire Food Bank was honored with a 2007 Volunteer Program Champion Award. One of the final thoughts shared at the end of the evening was from VolunteerNH! Exectutive Director Tim Dupre. He reminded the crowd that the Food Bank, which serves as the central clearinghouse for food pantries and soup kitchens across the Granite State, faces a “critical shortage” going into this holiday season.

Workers said this is the first time in the history of the food bank that it has been forced to rely on emergency packs. The food bank has used close to half of the 900 emergency packs so far.

“It basically consists of fruits and vegetables, canned proteins — just to get us through before we’re even more desperate,” said Melanie Gosselin of the food bank.

Just imagine what would happen if each and every Presidential campaign – almost like a straw poll, except more friendly (and for such an important cause) – stepped up and challenged their supporters to participate in a statewide food drive competition to benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank. Imagine how much food could be collected during the final weeks of November until the first-in-the-nation Presidential Primary! Certainly ServeNext New Hampshire’s team of AmeriCorps Alumni would be proud to help support any bi-partisan initiative like this that could yield such tremendous and timely results and raise additional awareness around the issue of hunger in our state.

The two Democratic frontrunners are not the first to incorporate acts of service into their campaigns. Both U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) have sponsored care package drives for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Former U.S. Senator John Edwards (D-NC) has been promoting his One Corps program across the country for over a year now and even served with supporters at Habitat for Humanity’s Musicians Village in New Orleans on Saturday. Edwards will stump at Plymouth State University on Monday afternoon, where frontrunners Clinton and Obama both addressed National Service within just days of each other last month.


2 Responses to “Service in the air on Presidential campaigns; NH Food Bank faces critical shortage”

  1. Stephan Rodriguez said

    This just in….City Year New Hampshire and Timberland shoe company are teaming up for a food drive in the month of November. All food and cash donations will be delivered to the NH Food bank, and will hopefully help them restore their supplies. Also, Timberland’s Social Corporate Responsiblity sector has offered to match all CASH donations (up to $1,500) for the NH Food Bank. But wait there’s more–on November 30th CYNH and Timberland are both sending 10 volunteers to sort and organize food at the Food Bank. On top of all of this time and effort being given to the NH Food Bank, City Year New Hampshire is also working in a food pantry, and in a Families in Transition center on November 30th as well. I’m sure CYNH and Timberland will be spreading their idealism to the rest of New Hampshire during the month of November….

  2. Exciting review pertaining to Service in the air on Presidential campaigns; NH Food Bank faces critical shortage! I enjoy your write ups!

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