The New Hampshire Food Bank announced in late May that they would eliminate common maintenance fees for state food pantries, soup kitchens and other partner agencies. Local food depots were excited by this change and expected him to make a change in the future.
“What they’re doing is huge, that’s the biggest change they can make, really,” said Maureen Cullinan, co-chair of the Temple of Faith Food Guidance. “Great grief – every dollar you save, you can buy more food.”
The fee in question was a pound fee charged to NH Food Bank partner agencies to cover the cost of food storage and delivery. The national maximum for the fee, set by Feeding America, is 19 cents and the Food Bank was recently charging nine cents per pound. According to the Food Bank, this is approximately $ 500 a month.
Cullinan said that in the Faith Food cellar, every dollar counts. While she is unsure of the exact impact that the lack of a maintenance fee will have, she knows it will help.
“I think it will be great,” she said. “We’re all glad to see him.”
According to Richard Redding, treasurer of the Peterborough Food Pantry, there is a similar story there. Recently, the Peterborough Food Pantry did not utilize the Food Bank as much as other food security avenues, but he said eliminating the maintenance fee would help.
“It will not affect us, in the short term, but in the long run, it is very good,” Redding said. This is because many of Peterborough cellar needs have been met through generosity and community donations.
“We have seen a fairly strong increase in donations last year and we are starting to see them return to normal,” Redding said. When this happens, the lack of a maintenance fee will help them save money.
“We think it’s great,” Redding said. “This will allow us and all the other cellars to expand our budgets and provide more food for more people, or more food for the people we have. “So this is fantastic.”
This is true, according to both Redding and Cullinan, because of the way food pantry budgets tend to be limited.
“Like any food pantry, we have to count our pennies,” Cullinan said.
Redding said that in the Peterborough food pantry, they look at every penny and stretch every dollar.
The elimination of the maintenance fee was due to donors, according to New Hampshire Food Bank Executive Director Eileen Liponis.
“We have been working towards this goal for years and we are extremely pleased to see it realized,” Liponis also said. “Especially since families and individuals have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, we hope that the abolition of shared maintenance tariffs will allow organizations to increase operations, better serve those in need in our communities. “and ultimately help us all. we get closer to our goal of eliminating hunger in New Hampshire.”
With growing demand over the past two years – New Hampshire Food Bank distributed more than milion 17 million worth of food during 2020 and expects to distribute more this year – New Hampshire Food Bank is encouraging further donations to help meet of their goals.