End 68 Hours of Hunger provides food for ConVal students

  • Anne Staley, left, End 68 Hours of Hunger’s school liaison and Linda Caracappa, co-program coordinator. COURTESY PHOTO

  • A team of volunteers for End 68 Hours of Hunger packs the food. From left are Janet Brown, Julie Butz, Kathy Sullivan and Sarah Clough. COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/22/2022 11:49:30 AM

With the help of local volunteers and businesses, the End 68 Hours of Hunger program for the ConVal School District is providing nearly 200 children with food.  

According to a survey done by the Hamilton Project in 2020, nearly one in five households of mothers with children age 12 and under experience hunger and food insecurity in the United States on a daily basis. End 68 Hours of Hunger is a public not-for-profit effort to confront the approximately 68 hours of hunger that some school children experience between the free lunch they receive at school on Friday afternoon and the free breakfast they receive at school on Monday morning.

According to Sharon Smith, one of roughly 70 volunteers for End 68 Hours of Hunger for ConVal, which started six years ago and serves all of the towns in the school district, there is an increased demand for food this year and that demand is expected to increase.

To meet that demand, Smith said the program relies on volunteers who collect and shop for the food that makes its way into the hands of children each Friday afternoon through Monday morning. Some of that food comes from the New Hampshire Food Bank as well as local churches, food drives and through the money raised by the program itself. 

“We have a team of shoppers who bargain shop,” Smith said, explaining that shoppers are always trying to make the best use of their available funds. Volunteers typically pack 12 to 13 items in each of nearly 200 bags of food each week to deliver to eight schools.

Local donation sites include the Union Congregational Church in Peterborough. End 68 Hours of Hunger (ConVal) also works with School Kids in Peterborough (SKIP) an after-school program, as well as the Grapevine. For older students, Smith said the program has tried to help them feel less stigmatized by allowing them to have access to food without carrying bags home from school. Snacks are available to eat and for pickup at the James A. Tuttle Library and at Avenue A in Antrim. 

Asked why she volunteers her time, Smith said she can’t think of a more-worthwhile cause.

“Feeding hungry kids...it doesn’t get more important than that,” she said. 

Several food drives are currently underway with ConVal students who will be collecting food at Beepa and Lulu’s, Peterborough Diner and Grappelli’s. Smith said the current wish list includes ramen, soup, canned chicken and canned vegetables.

Donation sites include Union Congregational Church, Peterborough Fire Department, Rick & Diane’s Pizza in Antrim, Dublin Community Church, Bixby Memorial Library in Francestown, Hancock Congregational Church and Alberto’s Restaurant in Bennington.

For information on how to donate to End 68 Hours of Hunger, visit end68hoursofhunger.org/donate.  


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