From Thanksgiving to Christmas, local food banks and pantries are usually well taken care of.
Year after year, members of the community come forward during the holiday season with tons of food to restock their shelves.
But for the rest of the year, things don’t always look as bright and local organizations that collect and provide food to those in need often must struggle to keep up with the demand.
In an effort to bring attention to the year round need for donations of food to help feed children and adults, Emmaus, Inc. has launched a Spring Food-a-Thon, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Service Alliance.
The drive, which began March 1 and ends April 30, seeks to raise awareness about a lack of food in Haverhill, while collecting donations to help restock the shelves of the Emmaus food bank.
Emmaus officials said hunger is a year round issue and, through the generosity of members of the Greater Haverhill and Merrimack Valley community, the organization is striving to make its food bank sustainable yearround. The Emmaus food bank serves formerly homeless individuals and families.
“Every year, we receive an abundance of food donations during the holiday season,” said Jeanine Murphy, executive director of Emmaus. “By spring, our reserves get very low. Emmaus is committed to providing healthy food to those we serve throughout the year. With grant funding from the Massachusetts Service Alliance, we hope to collect enough food to carry us through the summer months.”
So far, nearly 20 businesses and community partners, including the Haverhill public schools, have agreed to take boxes for food donations and/or mason jars for monetary donations for the food bank. Emmaus hopes that others will take part in the drive.
Emmaus is also participating in the National Feinstein Hunger Challenge. The Feinstein Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar any monetary donations to Emmaus during the period of the food drive. The Feinstein Foundation will also contribute a dollar amount based on the number of food items collected. For a donation to be eligible for this match, “Feinstein Challenge” must be noted in the check’s memo line.