Businesses and Organizations Across NH & VT Partner with Granite United Way to Ensure Students Have Breakfast
Food insecurity is a critical need for children across the country, with many families utilizing school-based breakfast and lunch programs to ensure that their children have access to at least two meals each day. This challenge was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, with waves of uncertainty around school reopening and many more families struggling to put food on their tables on a daily basis.
In place of our traditional Day of Caring, Granite United Way’s Smart Start Cereal Campaign empowered our communities to support children and families by donating cereal and other non-perishable breakfast items. Across New Hampshire and Vermont, a total of 53 companies participated in the Campaign collecting 4,100 boxes of cereal and other breakfast items.
"It’s important to us to support our local community," said Fitzroy Letts, Store Manager at VIP Tires and Service, Laconia. "So many families struggle with feeding their children each day; this was a great way for us to bring awareness to this issue and be a part of the solution."
Our corporate partners were excited to hear that Granite United Way was offering an alternative to Day of Caring and were eager to find creative ways in which to collect as much cereal as possible. Students and teachers from Pleasant Street School in Laconia, NH collected 129 boxes of cereal for Granite United Way's Smart Start Cereal Campaign during their spirit week. Primary Bank challenged each of its branches to build cereal towers from the donated boxes and voted for the best creation. Littleton Regional Healthcare created the "fill a van promotion" to encourage healthy competition between its employees.
The Smart Start Cereal Campaign also offered a no touch opportunity for participants to give online. Many individuals and companies chose to support our students this way, including Mascoma Bank who donated $500 to the Campaign.
“Food insecurity is a challenge no family should face," said Mariah Davis, Giving Administrator at Mascoma Bank. "We are happy to support the Smart Start Cereal Campaign and provide students a meal to start off their day. Working together is the key to building sustainable communities.”
In total, more than $4,300 was raised through mobile and traditional donations. Once the donations were collected, Granite United Way partnered with local food shelves to help distribute the cereal and breakfast items to students and their families in each of our regions.
"We are so grateful to have partners like Granite United Way and Procon Inc. in our service to Manchester area families,” said Rhonda Bernstein Director of Advancement at Amoskeag Health. “This generous donation of breakfast cereals will be distributed to those most in need.”
Special thanks to our campaign sponsors Meredith Village Savings Bank, Merrimack County Savings Bank, AFL, and Comcast, who helped us to ensure businesses had the resources they needed to host a successful collection drive.