Wednesday, March 25, 2020
SNHU preparing weekend meal packs for Manchester students
MANCHESTER – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern New Hampshire University will begin preparing weekend meal packs for distribution this Saturday to Manchester schoolchildren.
Manchester School District has been distributing breakfast and lunch to school children each weekday, but that leaves a gap on weekends. SNHU stepping forward will help ensure children will not go hungry while schools are closed.
“SNHU reached out early and asked how they could help,” said Jennifer Gillis, Assistant Superintendent, School Operations, for Manchester School District. “We felt that we had a good handle on our weekday deliveries, so food for the weekends was our biggest need. Distribution will begin this weekend and we expect this to continue for at least the next few weeks.”
Food will be prepared and packaged on the SNHU campus, then bused to five distribution sites in Manchester. Each pack will contain two complete meals. Packages will be ready for pickup starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The sites are:
- Police Athletic League building, 409 Beech St. (replaces location at JFK Arena) - please enter from Lake Avenue and exit onto Beech Street
- Crystal Lake Park, 679 Bodwell Road
- Parkside Middle School, 75 Parkside St.
- Smyth Road School, 245 Bruce Road
- Memorial High School, 1 Crusader Way
Families are asked to pick the site closest to their home. Volunteers from Manchester School District will be handing out bags from the front and the back of each bus. We remind families to practice social distancing – make sure to stand at least 6 feet apart.
“We’re fortunate to have so many in the city ready to step in at a moment’s notice to help the school district,” said Gillis, who serves as the district’s emergency response coordinator. “SNHU came forward to help, and we worked with the city Health Department, fire, police and Manchester Transit Authority to make this happen. Everyone is pitching in to make sure our children are taken care of.”
“It is always amazing to see everyone in the Manchester community come together to support those in need, especially during times like these,” said Steve Thiel, AVP Social Impact and Community Relations, SNHU. “We know that students need access to healthy food more than ever to continue to succeed and thrive in uncertain times, and we’re proud to be working with the Manchester School District, Sodexo and so many others to pitch in and do our part to help local families."
"I'd like to thank Paul LeBlanc and the team at SNHU for their generosity towards the city in this crisis," said Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig. "Over the last few weeks, they have stepped forward and committed to helping residents and students. I can't thank SNHU enough. We're lucky to have them in our community."
If you’d like to make a contribution to this effort, you can do so at https://alumni.snhu.edu/make-a-gift/meals-for-manchester. Manchester School District families should direct any questions about food pickup to firstname.lastname@example.org.