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Gather NH Recognized with Community Advocacy Award

Published Thursday Nov 18, 2021

Gather NH Recognized with Community Advocacy Award

Eastern Bank Foundation in Boston presented its 2021 Community Advocacy Awards, recognizing nonprofit organizations addressing inequities exacerbated by the pandemic in the communities Eastern serves, including New Hampshire. 

Racial inequities in food insecurity and gaps in food access are growing, alarmingly. Reports estimate 30 percent of adults in Massachusetts were experiencing food insecurity at the start of this year, and among Massachusetts residents, 58 percent of Latinx adults, 45 percent of Black adults, 26 percent of Asian adults, 24 percent of White adults and 42 percent of adults with children experience food insecurity.

In New Hampshire, one in seven Granite Staters is estimated to not know where their next meal will come from, with an additional 55,000 people now food insecure because of the pandemic.

Gather New Hampshire, led by Executive Director Deb Anthony, received the Community Advocacy Award for addressing food insecurity          

For 200 years, Gather has served Seacoast residents facing hunger. Through distribution programs and its Pantry Market, Gather provides nutritious food options, while offering nutrition education and recipes for healthy living. When COVID-19 struck, Gather innovated its programming to meet its community needs, serving over three times as many meals per week with more than 50% fewer volunteers.

Gather introduced initiatives such as mobile markets to deliver food to different towns and an online ordering system for people who were uncomfortable using the agency’s food pantry. At the same time, efforts significantly increased to create healthy meals with food that otherwise would have gone to waste. One thousand meals per week are now produced from rescued food and provided to families in need through the Pantry Market and mobile programming.

“Time and again, at times of great challenge and especially during this pandemic, it’s our nonprofit sector that picks us up and moves us forward,” said Nancy Huntington Stager, President and CEO of the Eastern Bank Foundation. “In 2021, many organizations answered the call in extraordinary ways to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, and we’re proud to recognize some of these leaders and their teams for giving mightily to address critical community needs. When they were faced with overwhelming and urgent demand for their services, they pivoted and scaled up rapidly to be a source of help and strength to thousands of people.”

 See the full list of winners:

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