COVID-19 and Local Food Access

The increase in unemployment has left many of our neighbors food insecure. Food insecurity is not a new problem, however it is growing more rapidly due to the increased rate of unemployment due to COVID-19. Some individuals may have never experienced the stress related to having to choose between paying for a place to live versus putting food on the table, but it is becoming increasingly more common. The good news is there are local resources to help those in need at this time. If you are familiar with other resources that are available but not listed please share in the comments. 

Food Access Resources

Listing of local food pantries

Do you have an excess of food in your garden? Click here for Food Pantries that accept fresh foods

Where you can use your SNAP benefits locally. 

Local Farmers’ Markets Schedule

Updates on our Winter Farmers’ Markets in Exeter and Rollinsford


NH Food Access Map was created to enable food access organizations to offer and list services and share them with the public. The map includes a directory of pantries/meals, local food discounts/benefits, nutrition assistance, and summer meals.

The New Hampshire Food Bank works to distribute millions of pounds of food to partner agencies each year. If you are in need of food, please contact your local Food Pantry or call the NH Food Bank SNAP Outreach Coordinator who can assist you in applying for SNAP (Food Stamps) at 603-669-9725 ext. 1147.

To sign up for SNAP go to www.nheasy.nh.gov

Gather is an agency committed to ending hunger in Seacoast, NH located in Portsmouth. Gather offers many services, a few include:

Gather’s Pantry market is open:

MONDAY-THURSDAY:  10A-5PM (PANTRY MARKET)

FRIDAY:  9A-1P (COMMUNITY FRIDAY: OUTDOORS AT COMMUNITY CAMPUS)

Please bring a photo ID + proof of residency. 

Meals 4 Kids is a program offered by Gather that is available to all school aged-children that are eligible for free or reduced school lunch. Each week children receive healthy ingredients and recipes for 10 meals.

Local Food Access News

The NH Food Bank in partnership with the NH Food Alliance, NH Farm Bureau and NOFA-NH  are proud to announce the pilot launch of “NH Feeding NH” a statewide initiative designed to support the purchase of NH grown food to feed our food insecure neighbors with nutritious locally grown produce throughout NH communities during COVID-19 and beyond, something we believe every Granite Stater should have access to.

While unemployment continues to rise, many restaurants, schools and farmers markets are closed across the state, which also means many of our farms have lost their outlet to sell their product. This program, modeled after our neighbors in Vermont and Maine, will not only support our local farmers, but will also help nourish communities in need.

SAMM, The Seacoast Area Mobile Market, is Seacoast Eat Local’s mobile market, and was the first mobile market of its kind in New Hampshire! This year, we’ve shifted the focus of SAMM to help meet the needs of people most affected by COVID-19. We’re purchasing fresh food from farmers that have lost sales outlets and are donating that food to area food pantries and senior housing communities.  This enables people who have no other option of getting fresh local food to their table an equitable opportunity to enjoy the local harvest. During the season, we’re reaching over 400 households per week. Thanks to our partners for the season: NH Charitable Foundation, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Gather Food Pantry, and Tuckaway Farm.

Check out this great article written about SAMM. 

 

*All photos featured in this post were taken prior to COVID-19.

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