NASHUA — An organization dedicated to combating childhood hunger was presented with the 2019 Gate City Light Award on Tuesday.

The Mayor’s Volunteer Recognition Committee selected End 68 Hours of Hunger for its annual award, and the Board of Aldermen recognized the group for its work this week.

The award honors End 68 Hours of Hunger and its volunteers for supporting the Nashua community with dignity and excellence, according to a resolution approved by city officials.


The resolution goes on to say that each year, the volunteers generously share their time in the spirit of community and giving.

“End 68 Hours of Hunger volunteers serve the community with a mission — to meet the nutritional needs of those school children who confront 68 hours of hunger between the free lunch they receive in school on Friday afternoon and the free breakfast they receive in school on Monday morning,” said Alderman Tom Lopez, Ward 4.

According to city officials, the volunteers organize, pack and distribute more than 260 bags of food for Nashua children on a weekly basis.

“Whether it is food drives, collecting or packing, this organization is 100 percent volunteer run, and the impact is tremendous,” said Lopez.

Because of the group’s vital contribution to the well-being of Nashua and its residents, End 68 Hours of Hunger is the recipient of the 2019 Gate City Light Award, he added. The nonprofit organization, which operates throughout the state, has a Nashua chapter coordinated by Melissa Baxter and Jenn Morton.

According to the organization’s website, there are currently more than 16 million food insecure children in the United States.

“This program puts nourishing food in the hands of school children to carry them through the weekend,” says the website. “Each bag of food costs $10 each week and provides two breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners for a child, with some left over to share.”

The Gate City Light Award is given to agencies and volunteers who make significant contributions to the people of Nashua.

In the past, Gate City Light recipients have included the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua, Home Health and Hospice Care, St. Joseph Community Services, Nashua Pastoral Care, the Edward V. Karg Day Away Program and the Humane Society for Greater Nashua.