Legion commander focuses on yearlong drive for Food Bank
Maynard, commander for the New Hampshire Department of the American Legion, had hoped to have more than $1,200 to give last week.
“Actually, anything greater than zero is good because it adds up,” Wilson assured Maynard, the newly elected state commander who has made supporting the Food Bank his project for the year.
Maynard said it will be the first of many donations he hopes to raise through the Legion’s eight districts in the Granite State. Through its partnerships with grocery and wholesalers, Wilson said every dollar that comes in to the Food Bank is worth about $4 to the private consumer.
The Food Bank is a major operation headquartered on East Industrial Drive, where Maynard and a group of other Legionnaires toured the facility while keeping out of the way of forklifts, volunteers and workers who shuttled about the warehouse.
“You see things on TV, but it’s nothing like when you come here. I’m thinking it’s a good deal,” Maynard said. “It’s going to everybody here in the state and the communities. It’s helping people that need help. I think it’s really run professionally. It’s clean, it’s sanitary, and everybody seems to really care about the place.”
The Food Bank stores food and prepares some in its full-scale kitchens and culinary school, expanding its resources while trying to reach as many of New Hampshire’s hungry as it can.
That list includes veterans from wars decades ago and soldiers who more recently returned from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Maynard said the Legion wants to help everybody, but it is a little reassuring to know the Food Bank effort is going to also benefit the veteran community.
“One out of every 30 people is either a veteran or family member of a veteran,” Maynard said. “It’s going to help them. It’s going to help the people coming back from overseas, and it’s going to help the people in the community. That’s what it’s supposed to be all about.”
Maynard hopes to get more people involved this week during a Legion meeting in Hooksett. With a statewide network, Maynard said the Legion can bring in much more than the $1,200 check he handed over to Wilson last week.
Kevin Murnane, state Legion community service chairman and District 3 commander, said he planned to spread the word at the Hooksett meetings and try to get everybody he can donating both food and, if they can afford it, money.
“When we donate money to New Hampshire Food Bank, for every dollar it’s worth four. We like to see people donating food, too, but it’s the finances that allow the New Hampshire Food Bank to be able to buy food,” Murnane said. “It’s a win-win situation.
“It’s working for the community and it’s helping veterans.”
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Doug Alden may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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