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.
The Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter was honored by Mayor Donchess and the Mayor’s Volunteer Recognition Committee at the Board of Alderman meeting May 8th when we were presented with the 2018 Gate City Light award. We were one of 16 nominations! This award recognizes an agency and its volunteers for giving their time in the spirit of community and caring, and for making significant contributions to the people of Nashua.
Our volunteers are the heart of our agency. We could not possibly accomplish everything our agency strives to do for those in need without our volunteers. For example, in 2017 our volunteers logged more than 33,598 volunteer hours for feeding the hungry through our breakfasts, dinners and Food Pantry! There were even more hours logged for our other services during 2017!
Our volunteers help to bring compassion, kindness, empathy and dignity into the lives of folks we help. It’s more than just a hot meal, a new pair of socks or food to put on empty pantry shelves at home… it’s our volunteers who serve with a smile, share a kind word, show a genuine gesture of assisting clients to select food to bring home, help a child select a new backpack for school, serve on our Board or serve on various fundraising committees.
We’re honored to thank these Volunteers of the Month:
Board Member Mary Slocum has coordinated and filled all the Race Water Stops with various Girl Scout Troops for many years. She also has the NHSS Lacrosse Team in the kitchen, Race Day morning making wraps to serve at our Race. Thank you, Mary, for finding the awesome volunteers to fill these vital slots on Race day!
Bishop Guertin High Sschool Students can be found serving dinner every 2nd Thursday during the school year. Led by Mollie Kerrigan of Campus Ministry, the students are energetic, compassionate and eager to help! Thank you for being part of our volunteer team!
Mark Ravenelle is a master of many tasks for us at NSKS. Patching walls to prep for painting—that’d be Mark. Forming corners out of stainless steel to protect the corners of our walls from carts & dollies banging into them—that’d be Mark. Smelling a skunk in our building & going into our tiny crawl space to remove the deceased animal — yes, that’d be Mark! We are very grateful for your time and talents, Mark! Thanks for everything you continue to do & have done for us!
Summer is on its way and we need your help with our annual “Backpacks for Back to School” Program. We collect new backpacks and school supplies for families trying to live on minimum wage, staying at our shelters, or coming to the soup kitchen for food. Everyone loves this program & helping kids get ready for school. New backpacks & school supplies always bring joy to the approximately 1,500 kids who get them.
Donations can be dropped off July 30th – August 9th, 9AM – 4PM. We will need volunteers to help sort, organize, assemble & distribute. Go to our Backpack Program page for our School Supply List. For more information, email email@example.com
“Bag Hunger”™ is Back
We are thrilled to let you know you can Bag Hunger™ again at the Nashua Hannaford and always at Harvest Market in Hollis. We kick off the program Memorial Day weekend at Nashua Hannaford where the campaign continues through the 4th of July weekend. Harvest Market runs the program year round for us.
It’s easy: at checkout, ask your cashier for a Bag Hunger™ coupon. You can select a coupon for $2, $5, or $10. 100% of all donations collected will go to the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter. We are grateful to Harvest Market in Hollis and Nashua Hannaford for their participation & you for your generosity. We hope as you celebrate summer with picnics & cookouts you’ll remember those we help in our community.
NSKS Urban Gardens
Our gardens are growing and not just with veggies & herbs! We’ve secured additional green space behind Citizens Bank at 41 Spring Street across from the Post Office that could provide up to 60 beds of fresh produce for families in need or for NSKS to distribute through our food pantry. We are looking for sponsors to turn some grass into gardens! For a one-time fee of $400 this season, a raised bed will be built, filled with soil & everything to grow healthy, fresh vegetables will be provided. If you know a family in need, we can assign a bed to them! For more information contact Meghan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Run/Walk For Food & Shelter
Our 25th Annual Run/Walk for Food & Shelter sponsored by Red Hat was a great success. Thank you to our 740 runners/walkers and to all of you who helped us raise over $58,453 to support our programs. This was the 4th year of our NSKS 5K Run for Food & Shelter Corporate Cup Challenge and it was a tremendous success, with 20 teams registering to run. Red Hat took the cup home with the fastest time; Silicon Labs took the title for the most pledges collected, totaling $713.00 and Worthen Industries took the title for the most participants- 29 on their team!
Thank you to our sponsors this year who included:
Red Hat, Unity Construction, Eastern Bank, Microdesk, Inc., Nashua Police Patrolman’s Association, Levesque Dentistry, College Bound Movers, Alene Candles LLC, Granite State Salvage Co., Eaton & Berube Insurance, Fleet Feet Sports, Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, Mint Printworks, Apple Therapy Nashua, DATRON Dynamics, Inc, Cullen Collimore PLLC, Kalil & Kress Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, Lovering Auto Group, The Print Factory, Smith-Weiss Shepard, PC, Well Sense Health Plan, Welts, White & Fontaine, PC, Worthen Industries, Inc. and Lowell Five Bank
Thank you to our Food & Drink donors:
Uno Pizzeria & Grill, DW Hwy, Nashua; Uno Pizzeria & Grill, Amherst St, Nashua; Walgreens on Main St, Great Harvest Bread Co., Whole Foods Nashua, DRINKMaple, Stoneyfield Farm Co., DoubleTree by Hilton Nashua, Outback Steakhouse, Burton’s Grill, Skratch, Fieldwork Nutrition and Aramark.
Please Give Generously
Please remember the NSKS this summer. Donations slow down during this time. Those who depend on us thank you!!
- Non-perishable items:
- Peanut Butter
- Boxed mac & Cheese
- Canned Red or Black Beans
- Tomato Products
- Canned Vegetables
- Personal care Items:
- Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
- Toilet Paper
- male and Female Incontinence Products
- Diapers sizes 3, 4 and 5
- New Backpacks and New School Supplies
- Financial Contributions
A Message From Lisa Christie
Our Former Executive Director, 1989 – 2017
“I was so flattered when Michael asked me to join the NSKS “Over the Edge” team and so excited to help raise $15,000 for all the great work we do, I said yes… but a conditional yes… If NSKS can raise at least $15,000 I will jump off the Brady Sullivan Tower and rappel down the 24 floors.
I have been so proud seeing all the new programs and ways to help those in need that Michael, the staff, Board & volunteers have been able to implement since I left. I know they all require additional funds and this is a great fundraiser. I hope all of the donors who know me and many new donors will sponsor the NSKS for this and get us to our $15,000 goal. See you on June 29th when I will jump “Over the Edge” to reduce poverty and support the incredible work of the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter.”
SAVE THE DATE
18th Annual NSKS Dinner Auction
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Executive Directors Blog
As some of you know, I’m something of a cycling enthusiast. For recreation and for exercise, it is hard to beat zipping down Dow Rd in Hollis or returning from Amherst on Country Rd or even doing errands around town on my 22-year-old Cannondale. While riding, it is not uncommon to meet a fellow cyclist with a “mechanical” which is a fancy way of saying someone’s bike broke. Stopping rarely results in a specific activity, the tube is already patched or someone is on the way, but each time I stop, just to make sure. And every time I have a break down, two or three people will pass and ask “are you ok?” the impulse to help, the desire to volunteer, is universal but sometimes I wonder if New Englanders are a little more inclined.
When I was a teenager driving the hills west & south of Mt. Monadnock in the winter, finding someone hung up in the snow was at least as common as a bicycle breakdown and then, as now, I would stop and see if everyone was ok. I’m sure I didn’t have to but something in the back of my head knew there would be a time (and there was more than once) where I would need the same kind of assistance. Perhaps we are born this way or perhaps the rocky terrain and cold winters help educate us, but I like to think my speculation is rooted in a deeper truth.
We lead this newsletter thanking Greater Nashua for the honor of receiving the 15th annual Gate City Light Award. It’s hard to place a value on the award but we can place a value on your time as a volunteer. According to The Independent Sector, which looks at issues effecting nonprofits, the value of a volunteer hour in New Hampshire is $25.52. Looking just at the volunteer hours scheduled for this past Tuesday, this amounted to a gift of $2,041.60!
My guess is that most of you reading this column will have volunteered at the pantry or in the kitchen or in the shelter at least once in the past. With the summer months approaching and the number of volunteers going down, this might be a good time to renew your commitment. We can measure the worth of your time but your generosity is invaluable and we can’t make great work happen without you.
PS. And on your way to your next volunteer shift, say hello if you see me on the side of the road.
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