Area service clubs are teaming up next week to package and distribute 20,000 healthy meals across the Monadnock Region to children and seniors in need.
Through the national Outreach Program — which provides safe water, food, medical care and education across the United States and beyond — the Keene Rotary Club purchased the pre-made meals for 25 cents each, according to President Matthew Snow.
The program was presented to the Rotary Club last year, Snow said, and the club immediately wanted to get involved.
“Feeding our hungry [population] is a problem that doesn’t go away, so it’s something that we all understood the importance of,” he said.
There are 7,340 people in Cheshire County who are food insecure — meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from — according to data from the N.H. Food Bank.
Many take for granted knowing where they’ll sleep or where their next meal will come from. B…
The meals — which require only boiling water to prepare — range from macaroni and cheese to gluten-free Spanish rice. The meals and packaging materials are provided by the program, Snow said.
The club is then responsible for packing and distributing the food to local homeless shelters, social service agencies, food pantries and other organizations.
But with too few people to package the meals alone, Snow reached out to other area organizations to help.
Elm City Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Keene Lions Club, Monadnock Understands Childhood Hunger and the Keene Senior Center are among those participating.
As of Wednesday, Snow said he was expecting the packaging event to have about 83 volunteers, more than the 60 needed for the event to run efficiently.
The event — which the Rotary Club hopes to make annual — will be held Feb. 12 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, at 70 West St. in Keene, from 5 to 8 p.m. Meals will be distributed within days of the event.
Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to stop by, Snow added, with no experience required.