LOUDON, N.H. – The New Hampshire Food Bank, with the help of the New Hampshire Army National Guard, brought a Mobile Food Pantry to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, which provided nearly nine tons of food for nearly 1,200 people in Loudon, Concord, Laconia, Belmont and the surrounding areas.
“We’re all in this together, and one thing we have an abundance of here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is space,” said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “When the New Hampshire Food Bank and New Hampshire Army National Guard pitched the idea of bringing their Mobile Food Pantry to Loudon, we jumped at the chance to offer space on our property to help our community.”
The drive-thru style of the Mobile Food Pantry allowed 334 families to remain in their vehicles, pop open their trunk, make a pit stop at three stations – perishables, non-perishables and meats – and then take off with about 52 pounds of food. The boxes contained a variety of food such as yogurt smoothies and dip, milk, eggs, hot dogs, frozen soup, several cans of fruits and vegetables, pasta, rice and macaroni and cheese, plus fresh produce including onions, carrots, apples, oranges, potatoes and lettuce.
“I never thought I’d be able to do this in the National Guard,” said Brendan Johnson, specialist for the New Hampshire Army National Guard. “It’s a good feeling to be helping all the communities around us as a team.”
Eighteen members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard are on orders to assist the New Hampshire Food Bank through the end of May, and the Mobile Food Pantry is their main focus. They prepare for 1,000 families to be served each time.
“We’re really happy to partner with New Hampshire Motor Speedway,” said Eileen Liponis, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. “If the funding continues, we’re going to plan on doing these weekly, identifying pockets of need and going there. The generosity has been unbelievable, and we really need it, because we don’t see many fundraising events in our future.”
The New Hampshire Food Bank has brought their Mobile Food Pantry to Gorham, Colebrook and Loudon, and they’ll be in Plymouth on May 16.
Providing a location for the New Hampshire Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry is the latest way New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been able to support the Loudon community during this time of uncertainty due to COVID-19. The speedway has also offered a home residence on the NHMS property to allow first responders to quarantine away from their homes, offered the town access to obtain gasoline from the speedway’s Sunoco gas pumps for keeping essential equipment and vehicles in use if the local fuel supply chain is interrupted due to the pandemic, donated 800 rain ponchos for public safety workers to use as hospital gowns to help alleviate the shortage of proper personal protective equipment and the State of New Hampshire Emergency Operations Center has secured space at NHMS for an overflow care facility and mobile testing site if the need arises.
For more information about all events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the July 17-19 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 race weekend, the August 22-29 Motorcycle Week at NHMS and the September 11-12 Full Throttle Fall Weekend, visit the speedway website at NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.