From left: Tony Gilmore, past District Governor, Rotary District 7870; Monique Ruth, past president, Rotary Club of Queen City-Manchester, N.H.; Steve Puderbaugh, District Governor, Rotary District 7870; Shawn Jasper, Commissioner, NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food; Eileen Groll Liponis, executive director, New Hampshire Food Bank; Bram Robertson, Contoocook Creamery at Bohanan Farm; Lisa Drake, director of Sustainability Innovation at Stonyfield Organic; Nancy Mellitt, director of development, New Hampshire Food Bank; and Martin Cohn, past president, Rotary Club of Brattleboro.

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MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire and Vermont Rotary Clubs recently donated $21,225 to the New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, to purchase dairy products for New Hampshire residents in need.

Four Rotary Clubs and two Districts (representing multiple clubs) joined forces to raise the funds this summer. Milk and dairy products are among the most requested items from the local food pantries that are served by the New Hampshire Food Bank. This demand has only been heightened with the added stress of the COVID-19 situation.

“Food insecurity is a heartbreaking reality for far too many families. Dairy is a nutrient-rich food that is a vital part of a healthy, wholesome diet. It is our hope that the generosity of these Rotary Clubs will lead others to make dairy a part of their future donations,” said Amy Hall, executive director, Granite State Dairy Promotion.

The Rotary Clubs expressed an interest in doing this project based on a similar effort in Vermont by Vermont Rotary Clubs. They collaborated with the New Hampshire Food Bank, Granite State Dairy Promotion and the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food to implement the program.

The New Hampshire Food Bank is contracting with Contoocook Creamery of Contoocook, N.H. to bottle milk. These funds will purchase approximately 7,860 half gallons of milk for distribution. Stonyfield Organic of Londonderry, N.H. is providing nearly 20,000 cups of yogurt with help from the Rotary Club donation.

Rotary Clubs that have contributed to this project are: Rotary Club of Milford, N.H.; Rotary Club of Concord, N.H.; Rotary Club of Newport, N.H.; Rotary Club of Queen City-Manchester, N.H.; Rotary District 7850 (representing clubs from New Hampshire and Vermont); Rotary District 7870 (representing clubs from New Hampshire and Vermont)

“When Rotary learned that New Hampshire dairy farmers and food-insecure folks needed help, it sprang into action. Members and clubs from two Rotary districts – 7870 and 7850 – reached into their pockets to enable the New Hampshire Food Bank to buy dairy products directly. We are pleased to be a part of this initiative to get nutritious dairy products to New Hampshire families during these difficult times and help New Hampshire dairy farmers challenged by disruptions as a result of COVID-19,” said Martin Cohn, a Brattleboro Rotary Club past-president who spearheaded the project.

For more information about this project, or to learn how to donate to the New Hampshire Food Bank, contact Nancy Mellitt, Director of Development, New Hampshire Food Bank, 700 E Industrial Park Dr., Manchester, NH 03109, tel. 603.669.9725.