CONCORD, NH – The Capital Region Food Program (CRFP) is pleased to introduce the 2022 Holiday Voucher Pilot to strengthen its mission to reduce hunger in the Greater Concord Area for individuals, families, and local agencies. Since 1974, the non-profit’s well-known Holiday Food Basket Project has distributed holiday meal boxes to more than a quarter of a million individuals in Concord and the surrounding 17 communities. Throughout this time, the CRFP has consistently made modifications to best serve the needs of local communities.
The latest enhancement is a Holiday Voucher Pilot to replace the traditional Holiday Food Basket Project with a more flexible, customizable, and sustainable food support program.
“Over the past decade, we have seen the landscape change considerably,” said Maria Manus Painchaud, CRFP Holiday Project Lead. “Coupled with necessary alterations during the pandemic, the trustees had the opportunity to research, rethink, and realign the Holiday Food Basket Project onto a new path that strengthens our mission.”
The Holiday Voucher Pilot is strategically designed to give families and individuals the ability to tailor the assistance received in the best way possible for their own unique situation. Vouchers will be provided to eligible participants on December 10, 2022, to shop for food and other basic necessities at local Market Baskets. The amount allotted for each family’s voucher is based on the number of individuals per household. The vouchers will be redeemable until January 31, 2023. Vouchers are non-transferable and exclude alcohol, tobacco products, and lottery items.
“We are excited to partner with the Holiday Voucher Pilot,” said Liz Robinson, Director, Epsom Food Pantry. “We see this as an opportunity to support clients over the holidays while giving them the autonomy to choose their own food and personal items that best meet the needs of their family. For many of our clients, this brings a sense of dignity and control.”
The Holiday Voucher Pilot also provides an opportunity to maximize the impact of community donations and reduce unintentional food waste. By providing families with more choices for their specific dietary and nutritional needs, CRFP can reduce unused food donations and create a more sustainable program.
“Participating families will now be able to customize their food selections to not only accommodate various dietary restrictions but also to accommodate their cultures and holiday traditions that are important this time of year,” explained Karen Emis Williams, Director, Concord Human Services, City of Concord. “The voucher program helps ensure clients receive the right food they need.”
Those seeking food assistance this holiday season are invited to connect with one of the 33 partner agencies participating in the program this year. Voucher applications are only accepted through these agencies until November 30th. For more information and a complete list of participating agencies, please visit www.capitalregionfoodprogram.org/holiday-project- 2022/.
The CRFP Holiday Project and Year-Round Distribution Project are made possible through the tremendous contributions of hundreds of community members. For those interested in supporting the Capital Region Food Program, please visit www.capitalregionfoodprogram.org
The Capital Region Food Program (CRFP) is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help reduce hunger in the Greater Concord area through year-round distribution of food to individuals and families. Since 1974 this has been accomplished by securing financial donations and in-kind services and by coordination, collaboration, and cooperation with other community distribution and service agencies.
The CRFP distributes the equivalent of over 110 tons of food annually through two initiatives. Forty (40) tons of food is distributed through the Year-Round Distribution Project which is distributed eleven times each year to over thirty local agencies. The equivalent of seventy (70) tons of food is distributed through the program’s Holiday Project.