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November 17. 2013 9:40PM

Nashua officials: We should help soup kitchen

NASHUA — Two aldermen believe the city should consider helping the Nashua Soup Kitchen meet its end-of-the-year fundraising goal, which would in turn allow the organization to receive an extra $100,000 from two anonymous donors.

“I really think that we, as a city, should be doing something to help them,” said Alderman-at-Large David Deane, who is exploring options available to the Board of Aldermen to financially assist the nonprofit group.

According to Lisa Christie, executive director of the Nashua Soup Kitchen, a deal was recently reached between two anonymous donors and the soup kitchen. If the organization is able to raise $150,000 by the end of the year, she said the two donors will contribute an additional $100,000 toward the Nashua Soup Kitchen’s capital campaign project.

“It would be really nice to see them get that other $100,000,” Deane told his fellow board members last week.

Alderman-at-Large Lori Wilshire said she supports Deane’s idea, saying the concept might not be precedent-setting as Deane originally implied.

“I think we might have done that before,” she said, explaining Community Development Block Grant funds are sometimes available for similar endeavors to help local organizations that contribute to the community.

Christie said the incentive from the two anonymous donors is an exciting challenge for the Nashua Soup Kitchen, which has already raised about $1.6 million of its $2 million capital campaign.

“We are really hoping this challenge will spur people in the community to help us. I am totally thrilled, and very optimistic, that we will reach the goal,” said Christie. “We have a very generous community here in Nashua, and we believe that the Nashua Soup Kitchen provides a critical safety net for the residents of the city.”

All of the money from the capital campaign will be used to renovate the soup kitchen’s future home at 2 Quincy St., the former VFW post. Christie said they would like to begin renovations at the new site in the spring of 2014 but must have all of the necessary funding in place first.

Earlier this year, the Nashua City Planning Board approved the organization’s move from Chestnut Street to Quincy Street.

The new location is significantly larger and will enable the soup kitchen to feed more than 125 clients simultaneously, therefore eliminating the long line of people that now wait to be fed on a daily basis.

In the past three years, the Nashua Soup Kitchen has tripled the amount of meals it serves, according to officials.

With the local VFW looking to downsize, and the soup kitchen hoping to expand, representatives from both organizations said their prior agreement will benefit both community service groups.

Although the VFW has not yet found a new home, VFW officials said earlier that the organization will continue to function in Nashua and plans to remain in operation for many years to come.Anyone interested in making a donation to the Nashua Soup Kitchen may visit its website at www.nsks.org, call 889-7770 or mail funds to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, PO Box 3116, Nashua, NH 03061.
khoughton@newstote.com


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