On July 20, Keene Elm City Rotary and MUCH (Monadnock Understands Childhood Hunger) in partnership with the Monadnock Food Co-op and Peak FM raised more than $2,000 and more than 2,000 pounds of food as part of the club’s annual Thanksgiving in July food drive. Rotarians collected donations in front of the Monadnock Food Co-op and the event was broadcast live on Peak FM (101.9).
The event began in 2016 when the Keene Elm City Rotary club decided to tackle the issue of childhood hunger head-on by founding MUCH (Monadnock Understands Childhood Hunger), an advisory think tank of Rotarians and non-profit and advocacy professionals in the field of childhood hunger. Their work identified summer as a time of great need for hungry children in Cheshire County. Without the benefit of school and after school programs, children’s access to healthy foods is significantly reduced during the summer months putting a burden on local food pantries.
 
All donations go to The Community Kitchen, which uses the money raised to reach families in need during the summer months and to purchase healthy snacks for existing summer programs. Food donations are used to replenish The Community Kitchen’s food pantry shelves and to support the summer free lunch program at Keene Public Library.
 
“We set an ambitious goal this year of raising $2,000 and 2,000 pounds of food. We collected more than $1,200 in cash donations at the Co-op. This combined with matching funds from our sponsors and $300 contributed online before the event allowed us to shatter our goal,” said Thanksgiving in July organizer and Keene Elm City Rotarian Beth Kirkpatrick. “Thank you to everyone who donated and volunteered.”
 
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