Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter (NSKS) moves closer to the goal of funding its “Healthy Nashua” Initiative, thanks to a commitment from Merrimack County Savings Bank (the Merrimack) to purchase $20,000 in tax credits. The Merrimack, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, will make the purchase through the Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) of New Hampshire’s tax credit program.
The Soup Kitchen and Shelter Initiative aims to address food insecurity in Greater Nashua for children and seniors by transporting healthy food to them. It will employ the use of innovative vehicles that will preserve and offer easier access to food.
“The Merrimack is proud to support the Healthy Nashua Initiative. It’s an inventive program that will alleviate food scarcity,” said Philip Emma, President of Merrimack County Savings Bank. “Improving access to healthy food for our most vulnerable community members is a critical issue. Supporting the well-being and strength of our communities is what the Bank was founded on 150 years ago, so it’s an honor to be able to carry forth that tradition with great community programs such as this one.”
“We’re incredibly grateful to the Merrimack and their belief in us to help eradicate food insecurity in Greater Nashua,” said Michael Reinke, Executive Director, of the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter. “It’s feasible to imagine Nashua being a community where no child or senior is ever worried about getting enough to eat. This project will lead to children doing better in school, while seniors experience fewer medical issues. Nashua will be a healthier community because of this. We can’t thank the Merrimack enough for their generosity.”
At a time when childhood obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes are rising, studies have shown that universal access to healthy food not only prevents further increase, but leads to a downward trend in these deadly issues. Improved nutrition has a significant impact on a child’s educational attainment. Children who have consistent access to healthy food have higher rates of school attendance, fewer incidents of behavioral issues and are more likely to be attentive throughout the entire school day. Additionally, seniors who are food secure are less inclined to experience depression, heart disease, asthma and congestive heart failure. The Healthy Nashua Initiative will provide easier access to quality food for children and seniors in the city’s most vulnerable areas.
The Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter (NSKS) was founded in 1981 to provide shelter and food to those in need. The NSKS works to end homelessness and to alleviate poverty and the conditions that force individuals and families with children into hunger, homelessness and poverty. Located on 2 Quincy Street, NSKS has served the Greater Nashua area by advocating, creating and operating programs and services that promote dignity and self-sufficiency for the last 35 years. For more information, visit nsks.org.
CDFA tax credits allow businesses to fund qualifying economic or community development projects in exchange for a tax credit that can be applied against state business tax payments. For more information about the CDFA, visit nhcdfa.org.