The New Hampshire Food Bank and the NH Army National Guard brought a mobile food pantry to the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon. That allowed more than 300 families to remain in their vehicles, pop open their trunk, make a pit stop at three stations – perishables, non-perishables, and meat – and then take off with about 52 pounds of food.
The event provided nearly nine tons of food for nearly 1,200 people in Loudon, Concord, Laconia, Belmont, and surrounding areas.
“I never thought I’d be able to do this in the National Guard,” said Brendan Johnson, specialist for the NH Army National Guard. “It’s a good feeling to be helping all the communities around us as a team.”
The boxes contained a variety of food such as yogurt smoothies and dip, milk, eggs, hot dogs, frozen soup, several cans of fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice and macaroni and cheese, plus fresh produce including onions, carrots, apples, oranges, potatoes, and lettuce.
“We’re all in this together, and one thing we have an abundance of here at NH Motor Speedway is space,” said David McGrath, executive VP and general manager. “When the New Hampshire Food Bank and New Hampshire Army National Guard pitched the idea of bringing their Mobile Food Pantry to Loudon, we jumped at the chance to offer space on our property to help our community.”
Eighteen members of the NH Army National Guard are on orders to assist the NH Food Bank through the end of May, and the Mobile Food Pantry is their main focus. They prepare for 1,000 families to be served each time.
“We’re really happy to partner with New Hampshire Motor Speedway,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director of the Food Bank. “If the funding continues, we’re going to plan on doing these weekly, identifying pockets of need and going there. The generosity has been unbelievable, and we really need it, because we don’t see many fundraising events in our future.”
The Food Bank also brought the Mobile Food Pantry to Gorham, Colebrook, and Loudon. They'll visit Plymouth on May 16.