More than 500 New Hampshire families received Thanksgiving meals thanks to a partnership between a rock band and a grocery wholesaler.
“This project has blossomed into something much larger than I ever envisioned,” said Kathleen McDonough, advertising department manager with Associated Grocers of New England.
After Chaos and Kindness opened its first retail store in Laconia last year, McDonough said she was eager to have AG New England’s corporate Vista Foods store in Laconia work with the organization on a project that would give back to the community.
“The idea was born that we would create complete turkey basket meals and hand them out to those in need,” McDonough said.
The original goal was to gather enough donations for about 400 meals, but as of last Friday, about $15,000 had been raised to prepare 530 Thanksgiving baskets.
For the past three weeks, Associated Grocers of New England and Chaos and Kindness have been fundraising to help with the project.
Patrons at five grocery stores — Sully’s in Goffstown, Sully’s in Allenstown, Vista Foods in Laconia, Harvest Market in Wolfeboro and Berlin Marketplace — have been generous with their financial contributions, according to McDonough, who has organized the project with assistance from Eric Tinker, director of New Hampshire retail store operations and Quinn Kingston of Chaos and Kindness.
Chaos and Kindness, a retail store and television show, was founded by Justin Spencer of the rock band Recycled Percussion. Its goal is to inspire kindness and give back to the community.
“Chaos and Kindness is gathering around gratitude this Thanksgiving, and we’ve got our hearts set on providing Thanksgiving dinners to 500 families across the Granite State,” the group said in an online statement.
Every dollar that was donated was matched by one of the five grocery stores, McDonough said.
As a result, 530 families received a complete meal for six to eight people, including a turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, potatoes, canned vegetables, a cheesecake and donated bakery items.
“There was plenty of food,” she said.