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When Brian Swenson of Boscawen donated $1,000 to the Boscawen Congregational Church Food Pantry, he just considered it repayment. “It’s a loyalty thing,” he said. “I was brought up this way.” He, his wife and his parents had been volunteers at the pantry, but after becoming disabled, Swenson, a Vietnam War veteran and retired electrician, needed its services. He said he spent about 2½ years receiving assistance from the pantry. But recently, he received compensation for Agent Orange exposure during the war. He said the food pantry was the first to get some of that money. Rhoda Hardy, director of the food pantry, said Swenson’s donation will go along way. “$1,000 is a great amount to us,” she said. Hardy said that buying food from the New Hampshire Food Bank costs 18 cents per pound, which means Swenson’s donation can buy about 2.8 tons of food. Having the donation also means she can buy meat, which is donated less frequently. From the food bank, she can sometimes buy meat at 9 cents per pound, but even if she has to buy hamburger from a grocery store at $4 per pound, the donation could buy 250 pounds. “You can see that this money was a huge gift,” Hardy said. The church’s food pantry has recently seen an increase in demand since the pantry at the town offices closed. Hardy estimates the pantry serves about 40 to 45 families a week. In March, the pantry fed 91 families more than 6,400 meals. Out of the 226 individuals in those families, 40 were older than 60 and 50 were children. She said the church also gets food from the Capital Regional Food Program. Grace Capital Church is also making a donation from its recent food drive. “Anytime there’s any food anywhere, we go and get it,” Hardy said. It’s not because they hoard it, she said, but because they never know how much is going to be needed. The pantry is holding a chili, chowder and soup fundraiser May 2 at Boscawen Elementary School from 4 to 6 p.m. Applications to compete in the cook-off are available by calling 344-5902. “As a church, we aren’t wealthy,” she said. “We depend on the members of the community to help us.” Swenson said people need to pay it forward more. He said they need to change “me” to “we.” “I’ll do whatever I can in the future,” Swenson said. By SARAH KINNEY Monitor staff Saturday, April 4, 2015 (Published in print: Sunday, April 5, 2015)


Mark your calendars now for the 2015 church supper season. Our suppers are open to the public every month and offer mouth watering baked ham, pea & kidney beans, potato, green, mediterranean, and jello salads along with a fantastic selection of home baked pies. Low and sugar free jello and pies available. These suppers are the third Saturday of each month, with the exception of May, which is the 4th Saturday. We will be serving from 4:30 to 6:00 pm. Join us for a great meal and a wonderful opportunity to spend time with friends and neighbors. If you have not had the chance to read about our suppers in New Hampshire Magazine, visit, www.nhmagazine.com/October-2013/A-New-Hampshire-Church-Supper/. The supper schedule is March 21, April 18, May 23, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19 and October 17. The cost for tickets is $8.00 for adults, $4.00 for children 6-12 and those 5 and under are FREE. All are welcome!