New campaign aims to fill pickup trucks with peanut butter for hungry


By Mike Cherry



Donated peanut butter.


BOW, N.H. — Summer means vacation time for many families, but for others, it's a time when food is scarce.

Officials with the New Hampshire Food Bank said demand for foods that are high in protein goes up during the summer. A first-of-its-kind campaign with Grappone Automotive is aimed at meeting the demand.

"As soon as they said, 'Would you be able to help?' we immediately said, 'Yes,'" said Amanda Grappone, owner of Grappone Automotive.

Grappone Ford has launched its Fill A Ford campaign to collect donations of peanut butter.

"Our goal would be to fill four F-series trucks, 150s or 250s," Grappone said.

Food bank officials said the need increases in the summer because children don't have access to school lunches.

"The children who benefit from free and reduced lunch during the school year face a difficult summer without that," said Eileen Laponis of the New Hampshire Food Bank.

According to the food bank, one in every 11 children in Manchester are food insecure and don't receive a nutritious diet in the summer.

"We want to be there for them if they can't make ends meet and they have to choose between food or medicine, food or heat, food or transportation," Laponis said.

Laponis said more than 100,000 people in New Hampshire are going hungry. The Boys and Girls Club of Central New Hampshire helps about 2,200 children each year.

"Quite a few parents take us up on the dinners that we offer, and they'll sit right there with their kids and eat," said Chris Emond of the Boys and Girls Club.

In order to service those in need, the Ford Motor Company Fund donated a new van with a cooling system in the back for deliveries.

"If we have an abundance of produce that we want to share with the community, we can bring that to senior community centers, to playgrounds," Laponis said. "It makes us so much more versatile and flexible in our ability to impact hunger in this state."

Peanut butter donations can be made at any Grappone Auto dealership in Bow.