Fall 2017

No one should be hungry or homeless in our community.

The Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization providing meals, emergency shelter, transitional housing, food baskets and advocacy to homeless and low-income men, women and families with children. The soup kitchen, at 2 Quincy Street, serves dinner seven days a week and breakfast five days a week.

Bread & Board

NSKS Newsletter:
Fall 2017

Bread
& Board

NSKS Newsletter:
Fall
2017

Happy Fall!

Recent Conversations

Juana, our client advocate, recently came downstairs saying “today makes it all worthwhile.” A woman came into the pantry after several nights of searching for food behind local grocery stores. She and her husband have owned their home for over ten years but a recent job loss had meant a missed mortgage payment. She told Juana that she was worried the bank would take their home away.

In the middle of a busy day, Juana sat and listened. She told the woman to keep paying her mortgage. She talked about our pantry where one can get a week’s supply of food once a month and produce twice a week. She introduced her to Donna for help finding a job. The woman left knowing there was help and support.

Asking for help can be difficult. Each of us would like to be able to do it on our own. On behalf of Juana and the rest of the staff and volunteers, thank you for being part of a kind and greater Nashua!


 

You Made a Difference: Amazing Things Donors Made Possible in 2017

  • 27,323 breakfast meals served (7% increase)
  • 52,734 dinner meals served (-1% decrease)
  • 10,991 food baskets given to households (9% increase)
  • 27,774 visits for fresh fruits and vegetables and bread
  • 4,353 bags of toiletries and personal care items distributed (2% increase)
  • 10,979 nights of emergency shelter to 288 homeless persons, 33 were children
  • 48 families, including 47 children, received financial assistance to prevent homelessness
  • 5,250 families received household items (-27% decrease)
  • 20,6510 diapers were distributed (20% increase)
  • 134 clients took 271 showers and 72 clients did laundry 84 times
  • 1,527 kids received new backpacks filled with school supplies to start school
  • 240 clients were helped by our Employment & Education advocate
  • 66 people gained employment; 55 were full time jobs
  • 13 people were in post-secondary programs
  • 6 people enrolled in HISET (New GED) program, 0 graduated this year
  • Individuals and families served come from Nashua, Hudson, Milford, Amherst, Merrimack, Wilton, Hollis, Pelham, and Mont Vernon
  • Volunteers and supporters come from those towns and beyond

 

Nashua Meals for Kids

This summer we launched a new effort to ensure the children of the Dr. Crisp Elementary School neighborhood had access to three meals a day, seven days a week. Breakfast and lunch were provided by Southern New Hampshire Services, weekend food bags were generously provided by The Salvation Army, Corpus Christi Pantry and Assistance, and End 68 Hours of Hunger. Evening dinners are provided by the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter and will continue after school begins.
Averages (from July 3, 2017 – August 11, 2017)
Breakfast: 14 meals per day; Lunch: 40 meals per day; Dinner: 61 (meals a day)
364 (meals a week)
Total as of August 14th:
All meals: 83 (a day)
Food bags: 69 (a week)
Nashua Meals for Kids
Breakfast: 419 meals served; Lunch: 1,116 meals served; Dinner: 2,304 meals served
All meals: 3,882 meals served
Food bags: 618
230 individuals have registered as volunteers; 100 of them have completed food distribution shifts. Eight people have done ten or more shifts.
Observations:
The largest number of food bags distributed was 130 on July 20th. Dinners continue to increase – 360 were distributed on August 14th.


 

Our Gardens Grow

Our gardens are producing a very good yield after a late start and trying some different crops. We’ve harvested over 160 pounds of produce. Special thanks to Dennis, Tom and Fran for keeping it looking great with their hard work and installing an automatic watering system.


 

“Bag Hunger”™

Thanks to Nashua Hannaford and their generous shoppers we received $3,773 this summer during our campaign. Hannaford is a big supporter of NSKS year-round, including the holidays and their ‘Helping Hands’ boxes, which feed a lot of people. A big shout out also to Harvest Market in Hollis for running “BAG HUNGER” TM year-round for us. We receive donations quarterly from the generous shoppers there.

Please Give Generously

We can only do what we do with your help. Please give as generously as you are able so we can continue to help the families who come to us to survive.
Thank you!

Early Auction Sponsors

Marzen Group LLC
Microdesk Inc.
Enterprise Bank
VPS Drywall LLC
Janet & Dan Griffin
White Mountain Computer
Winchester Place Apartments/RPL Properties
Lovering Auto Group
India Association of New Hampshire
Eaton & Berube Insurance Agency
Bean Group- Barry Warhola
Proctor Ski & Board
M2 Technologies
Mass Design
Morin’s Landscaping
Pheasant Run Apartments
Ripano Stoneworks
Drs. Helfman, Lasky & Associates
Focused Eye Care
NH Print & Mail
 
Thank you! If are interested in providing sponsorship support for our 17th Annual Dinner Auction please call or email Carol at (603) 889-7770 or carol@nsks.org

SAVE THE DATE

17th Annual Dinner Auction
Saturday, November 4, 2017

 
Tickets available at www.nsks.org
For information call Carol at (603) 889-7770 or email her at carol@nsks.org

Executive Directors Blog

“WOW- a lot has happened here since I first climbed those steep stairs at 42 Chestnut St.” Lisa wrote this sentence in last Fall’s newsletter and I was tempted to say something similar today. Christmas, Empty Bowls, the Run and Walk for the Kitchen and Shelter, and Backpacks for Kids, have all taken place since I arrived in November.

Of course, my list would have been intimately familiar to Lisa. With the transition of staff from Eileen to Alyssa and small program modifications, such as the Pantry offering boxes of food at 11am and produce at 12 noon, our programs continue to offer the same level of excellent quality and service present in the 27 years of Lisa’s tenure.

At the same time, there are tangible signs of change. This past February, we were grateful to receive a grant from Intel supporting Tom Chan’s IT support to our staff for a twelve month period. Over the last six months, we have made laptops available to all staff and migrated to a comprehensive calendaring system. Over the next six months, our goal is to introduce an agency wide CRM.

More visible has been our launch of the Nashua Meals for Kids Program with the support of Healthy New Hampshire Foundation. In just one elementary school, we have helped provide more than 6,000 meals for kids this summer. It is our hope that with the support of the greater Nashua Community, we will expand this program to the four additional Nashua elementary schools with free and reduced lunch rates of 70% or more. Truly, no child should be hungry in our community. Ever!

And with these changes, more is yet to come. This summer we were awarded $60,000 of New Hampshire State Tax Credits to help us bring innovative best practices from around the country to Nashua. Today, we are exceptionally pleased to announce that Merrimac County Savings Bank has made a $20,000 commitment!

I believe Nashua can be a leader in the production, distribution, and consumption of healthy food. Here are a couple of models we will be exploring:

The Daily Table:

A not-for-profit retail store that offers a variety of tasty, convenient and affordable foods. Working with a large net- work of growers, supermarkets, manufacturers, and other suppliers who donate their excess healthy food or provide special buying opportunities, keeping prices affordable.

Interfaith Food Shuttle Mobile Market:

Distributes groceries and fresh produce in low income neighborhoods. A refrigerated truck full of food, often including fresh produce gleaned from a local farm the day before, goes to a community center, church, or health clinic and becomes a temporary market.

Detroit Food Lab:

Helping individual food businesses start-up, grow, and experiment with ways to contribute to the greater good. The Lab cultivates connections between the urban agriculture and culinary communities in Detroit and regional farmers.

Nashua is primed for food innovation. We are conveniently located near many local agricultural communities and several food distribution hubs. The challenge is not whether we can be innovative in addressing the issue of food insecurity but where should we put our focus and which project is the likeliest to meet with success. I look forward to working with you to take the next steps in ensuring everyone in Nashua has healthy & nutritious food.

– Michael Reinke

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