Food pantries are a lifeline for many families in both Somersworth and the surrounding areas. Currently we have one food pantry in the city itself and that is located at First Parish Church on West High Street. The Community Food Pantry serves approximately 300 families each and every month and that number constantly grows.
There is also the Seeds of Faith Food Pantry that is located in Rollinsford and serves people from Somersworth, Berwick and beyond. Open on a Monday 10am till 12pm the pantry is located in the Salmon Falls Mills on Front street, side entrance.
The New Kid On The Block
There is a new kid on the block when it comes to food pantries and this one is in Rochester. To be fair it is almost on the Rochester/Somersworth line and it serves and is open to all residents of Strafford County. It also has another very important Somersworth connection in the form of Betty Eaton, who many will recall ran the Safe Haven program here in Somersworth for many years.
Betty invited me to take a look around her new venture. She is taking on with her usual gusto and love that those who knew here from Safe Haven are so familiar with. So one Wednesday afternoon a couple of months ago I ventured up to Revolution church. The food pantry itself is located in the basement of the church. Betty explained that after the spotting the need for another food pantry in the area she approached the pastor who was all to happy to give his blessing to the new project. So the Revolutions Food Pantry was born.
The space was provided and the hard work began. If you think running a food pantry is simply a case of opening the doors and waiting for donations of food and money to roll in, you would be very wrong. Over the past three years I’ve visited all three of the area food pantries and all the coordinators will tell you the same thing: without willing volunteers and a lot of hard work these services would not be available.
Judgement Free Zones
What you will not find at any of the area food pantries is judgement. Betty believes that everyone should feel welcome as soon as they walk through the door. She and her volunteers offer a friendly welcome and all that is required to take part in the pantry is a photo ID and proof of residency in Strafford county, which of course included Somersworth.
As you sit and talk to Betty it’s almost impossible not to get caught up in her enthusiasm. She told me that recently the food pantry obtained it’s 501 3c status as a non-profit which allows them to take monetary donations as well as those of food. Betty explained that while both types of donations are important money donations can often be stretched much further. It allows her to visit the NH food bank and stock up on whatever they maybe low on. Although the pantry has only been open for a few month it is already serving around 250 area families, so any help is much appreciated.
One of the things you are guaranteed at all of the food pantries that service Somersworth is a warm welcome. Betty tries to go the extra mile and those who visit can often find an unexpected treat awaiting them.
Donations Always Needed By The Food Pantry
Of course running any type of non-profit requires donations and all three of the food pantries that supply some of Somersworth’s most needy are always for both, food and money donations. Without the generous support of donors they would not be able to provide the valuable service that they do.
Betty has taken a slightly different approach to the money situation at Revolutions Food pantry and as well as funds through the usual channels, the pantry hosts spaghetti suppers, yard sales and various other unusual fundraisers.
If you can help any of the area food pantries they would be most grateful as would their patrons. Most of us think of food drives and helping around the holidays but people need to eat 365 days a year. For many, that would not be possible without the aid given by the food pantries.
Below is a list of the three pantries, their hours and locations.
Somersworth Community Food Pantry: 176 W High St, Somersworth, NH 03878
Hours of Operation:
Monday 10:00am – 12:00pm Wednesday 6:00pm – 8:00pm Thursday 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Seeds Of Faith Food Pantry: 1 Front Street, Suite #160 Rollinsford, NH 03876
Hours of Operation:
Monday 10am – 12pm.
Revolutions Food Pantry: 87 Lowell Road, Rochester, NH
Hours of Operation:
Monday 9.30am – 11.30am Thursday 4.30pm – 6.30pm