Volunteers fill 240 food baskets for Goffstown Network
Julie Rourke, left, Courtney Wyands, Joanne Rourke and Emily Rourke help sort items for Thanksgiving baskets for the Goffstown Network. (KATHY REMILLARD/Union Leader Correspondent)
GOFFSTOWN - Families in need will have a complete Thanksgiving feast thanks to volunteers at the Goffstown Network, as 240 Thanksgiving food baskets were put together in time for the holiday.
Boxes stocked with all of the traditional fixings - cranberry sauce, stuffing, canned vegetables and pumpkin pie ingredients - were assembled and ready for distribution so that Thanksgiving would be possible for those needing a little extra help.
Fresh items included apples, onions, carrots and potatoes, and those receiving baskets were offered a choice between a turkey and a $10 gift card.
According to Goffstown Network President Dave Greiner, need is up slightly from last year, but not as high as a few years ago when 255 baskets were made.
Despite a warm winter last year, Greiner said, the need for nutritious food is a year-round challenge for some.
"This summer, we were as busy as we've ever been," he said.
Items for the food baskets were purchased at Sully's Superette, Greiner said, with the food pantry's regular stock getting a boost from local schools.
"The schools do a wonderful job for us," he said. "They take a lot of pride in donating a lot of food - they do an amazing job."
Volunteers, from children to older adults, enthusiastically filled boxes, and Greiner said some make it an annual tradition.
"People like doing this as an unofficial kick-off to their holiday season," Greiner said. "I just love the energy."
An 8-year-old girl organized a bean bag toss at the annual Pumpkin Regatta, and donated the $80 she made to the Network.
Greiner said he is grateful for those who offer their support of the Goffstown Network.
"I've said it many times, but we are so blessed to be part of this community," he said, noting that even through lean times, he's been able to keep the pantry up and running.
"We couldn't do that without the generosity of the community," he said.
Donations are still being accepted for the Christmas season, and Greiner said the Goffstown High School's annual food drive is scheduled for the third week in December.
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Kathy Remillard may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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