The second week of October marked National Food Bank Week and Andover Recreation Department’s Tiny Tots Playgroup, a two-hour drop off program for kids ages 3-5, got into the spirit as the group helped the Andover Elder Services Food Bank.
“Our kids were excited to help others in the community so we put together a project to bring light to the resources available right here in town,” said Kourtney Crampton, or ‘Coach Kourtney’, who runs the playgroup. "The kids made artwork and decorated a donation box to collect non-perishable food items for the community, and then each of them brought in a canned good to donate to Elder Services’ Food Bank.”
One in six children in the U.S. struggles with hunger according to Feeding America, and one in eight people in the U.S. overall. Even in prosperous communities such as Andover, hunger risks are real for many, whether due to a job loss, sudden illness, or emergency situations such as the recent gas event that still affects many in our community.
Last month, Andover Elder Services coordinated efforts to host the food bank for Andover, and has been offering food, diapers, clothing items, batteries, blankets, and more to those in need.
“When the gas crisis hit, we had such an overwhelming outpouring of support, it was incredible” says Andover Elder Services Adult Program Coordinator, Renee Baker, “We have been able to serve so many people and families in our community through the generous donations we have received.”
Baker, along with Director of Andover Elder Services Annmary Connor, met with the playgroup to explain to them how a food bank works and answered questions the kids had. They accepted a donation from each child and filled up the food bank shelves with their goodies.
“We are still accepting donations and every bit helps,” said Connor. “It’s awesome to get kids involved at such a young age and to have them learn the value of helping other people.”
The kids’ artwork and donation box will be on display at e Senior Center at Punchard for the next few weeks as Andover Elder Services continues to accept donations. Donations can be dropped off at the Senior Center at Punchard (30 Whittier Court), Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 to 11:30 a.m. Call Andover Elder Services at 978-623-8320 for more information.