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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Awards $30K for Fresh Food Bus

DOVER, NH – Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has awarded a $30,000 community benefit grant to support Gather’s Fresh Food Bus, which provides a mobile market of fresh foods for food insecure families.

Portsmouth-based Gather, a non-profit dedicated to food insecurity, introduced the bus last year to make fresh, nutritious food more accessible to underserved families who face transportation barriers. The bus makes about 14 stops per month, including biweekly at Wentworth-Douglass. It serves an average of 40 families per visit to the hospital, most of whom are either patients or part of a hospital-affiliated social service program.


“We are proud to support Gather and their Fresh Food Bus initiative, which exemplifies our commitment to holistic health care,” said Meaghan Heusler, community benefits manager at Wentworth-Douglass. “Gather is one of the oldest social service agencies in the country, but this is a great example of their continued commitment to innovation, and we are extremely grateful for the support they provide our patients and community.”

Food insecurity remains a significant issue for communities in the Greater Seacoast region. New Hampshire Hunger Solutions recently reported that 44% of adults and more than half (52%) of New Hampshire children live in households that reported having insufficient food.  Inflated food prices and the rollback of pandemic-area safety net programs are contributing to the crisis.

With the additional funding from Wentworth-Douglass, Gather intends to serve an additional 20 families per bus visit (increasing the total to 60) and provide a balanced selection of fresh produce, meats, dairy, bread, and other essential non-perishable items to program participants.

"We extend our gratitude to Wentworth-Douglass for their generous support of Gather's Fresh Food Bus initiative, which not only helps us address food insecurity, but also underscores their dedication to the health and wellness of the community,” said Gather executive director Anne Hayes. “We are proud that together we are making a tangible difference in the lives of underserved families across the Seacoast.”

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