Nashua restaurant, students team to fight school vacation hunger
NASHUA — Local students and a city restaurant are joining forces to help ensure that area children will have adequate meals during two upcoming school vacations.
The Amherst Street Elementary School, Nashua high school students and UNO pizzeria restaurant in Nashua are hosting a food drive and dough raiser to help put food on the table for students who will not have access to free and reduced lunches during February and April school vacations.
Nashua residents are being encouraged to fill a need that exists in their own back yard by filling collection boxes with healthy food donations for students while they are stuck at home in the coming weeks.
“The focus of the February food drive and dough raiser at UNO is to provide enough food for families during the February and April breaks so they don’t go hungry,” says a release from Debbie Caron, marketing manager for UNO at 593 Amherst Street.
As the winter stretches on, it is challenging for some local families who must decide whether to heat their home or purchase groceries, Caron said.
“Childhood hunger is not just a national problem, it’s a local problem as well,” she said, noting 75 percent of the students at Amherst Street Elementary School receive free and reduced lunches. Some of those families are on a waiting list to receive a backpack full of food to feed their family on the weekends, part of the Amherst Street Backpack Food Pantry Program, added Caron.
Nonperishable food items may be donated at UNO from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. Anyone who donates 10 food items will receive a free mini-dessert from the restaurant.
In addition, UNO is hosting a dough raiser to benefit the program. Diners must bring in their free dough raiser ticket and hand it to their UNO server between now and Feb. 18 when 20 percent of receipts will be donated to the food pantry efforts.
Dough raiser tickets are available by emailing Caron at email@example.com or by visiting the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Food can also be dropped off at the Amherst Street Elementary School during regular business hours, and monetary donations may be made through the school’s website.