News

Merrimack Police Department asks for community’s help stocking food pantries’ shelves this holiday season

Friday, November 16, 2012

By ERIN PLACE

Staff Writer

MERRIMACK – The Merrimack Police Department hopes the community can be more generous this year than last in donating to its annual holiday food drive, as the need for assistance from local food pantries continues to increase.

Community Resource Officer Robert Kelleher has headed the food drive for the past three years, which is the same amount of time he has been in that position. The department launched its drive Nov. 1 and donations will be accepted through Jan. 1.

Anyone wanting to drop off donations can do so in the lobby of the Merrimack Police Department, at 31 Baboosic Lake Road. Kelleher said there aren’t any specific requests for food. However, food expiration dates should not have expired.

“The need has grown over the last few years, obviously, with the economy,” Kelleher said. “With food pantries experiencing an overwhelming number of requests for assistance, the Merrimack Police Department wants to encourage citizens to help those families from our community who may need support during this holiday season.”

He added that it was estimated that the department collected roughly 800 pounds of food during the campaign in 2011.

The event benefits the three food pantries in town, all of which are located at churches. They include St. James United Methodist Church, at 646 Daniel Webster Highway, St. John Neumann Catholic Community, at 708 Milford Road, and Riverside Christian Church, at 27 Depot St.

In visiting these food pantries, Kelleher said he was surprised at the growing need of assistance from residents.

“I couldn’t believe how many people attended these food pantries. I was shocked,” he said. “You take that stuff for granted, you know. It’s not good out there for some people.”

For more information, contact Kelleher at 424-3774.

Erin Place can be reached at 594-6589 or eplace@nashuatelegraph.com. Follow Place on Twitter (@Telegraph_ErinP).

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