Every Saturday morning in the parking lot of the JFK Coliseum in Manchester, NH, Food for Children, Inc. feeds hundreds of people and families in need.
“We’ve only cancelled once in 28 years, and that’s because there was over twenty inches of snow and we couldn’t get the trucks out of the parking lot,” said Peter Dalrymple, President of Food for Children, Inc.
All week long, Food for Children Inc. collects donations from bakeries, NH Food bank, Hannaford’s grocery store chain, and private donators in order to feed up to 400 families come Saturday morning.
The Saturday morning events start with a short message from a local pastor, and then the line opens up and people can move from table to table to receive various types of food, from fresh meat and produce to non-perishables.
“Whoever is in need can come,” said Dalrymple.
Food that is not distributed goes to an additional seven local churches, so that nothing is wasted.
The organization is 100% volunteer and utilizes four trucks and up to seventy-five volunteers every Saturday to continue to change lives for the better, week in and week out.
“We need at least twenty-five people just to open and get set up,” said Dalrymple.
Food for Children, Inc. has grown into a big operation over the years, but it began modestly: with two women serving sandwiches to the children of drug addicts. They saw a need and the organization grew
into what it is today: a charity that not only feeds people, but helps them get back on their feet by alleviating some financial and spiritual strain. As a result, for many involved with the charity, it’s personal.
“There are a lot stories of people coming back to help after benefiting from us, once they’re back on their feet. We build relationships with people, and it’s a blessing to be a part of it all,” said Dalrymple. “I got involved to spend time with my daughter. She said she wanted to volunteer. We both loved it. It totally changed my life.”