Days before the start of the new year, Mascoma Savings Bank’s President and CEO, Steve Christy, and board members Tom Terry, O.D. and Donna Wheeler, visited the Upper Valley Haven to present a check for $50,000 to help fund a Food Shelf expansion and renovation to accommodate commercial cooler and freezer units and to increase food storage and distribution space.
With the number of Food Shelf visits hitting record highs, the Haven had inadequate storage space for non-perishables as well as meat, dairy and fresh produce. Within a 13-month period the Haven lost four residential refrigeration units due to the constant demand on the compressors which were not made to withstand summer storage room heat and frequent opening and closing. Renovations have allowed for commercial compressors to vent out of the building, an increase in storage space and an efficient traffic flow solution for both visitors to our Food Shelf and food deliveries. The new plan has dedicated one end of the Byrne House to food, and repositioned Reception, the Clothing Room, and Healthy Eating demonstrations to the front end of the building, and added a new Haven Café waiting area which helped address capacity and fire codes. Mascoma’s gift, coupled with generous support from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and private donors, has completely funded this project.
As Executive Director, Sara Kobylenski comments “There is nothing fancy about this renovation, but it means everything for ensuring we can meet the community’s food needs. Poverty statistics are truly overwhelming. In the month of December 2010 alone, 900 households visited our Food Shelf, as compared to 526 in 2008 when the economy began to falter. That is a 71% increase in just two years! We continue to be frugal with resources and brainstorm ways to make our resources go farther for the community. We anticipate a sobering 2011, and are doing everything we can to prepare. This gift from Mascoma, and their additional operating support and event sponsorships totaling $2,475 in our current fiscal year, is a true gift not just to the Haven but to the whole community. We are humbled, and very grateful.
The Upper Valley Haven is a private not-for-profit organization, founded in 1980, that provides temporary shelter and educational programming for homeless families and adults, as well as food and clothing to those in need. All Haven services are provided free of charge. For more information about supporting the Haven visit www.uppervalleyhaven.org or call (802) 295-1803.
Mascoma Savings Bank was formed in 1899 by a group of local, civic-minded people. Over 100 years later, the Bank’s purpose remains the same: to provide depositors with a safe, convenient place to save and manage their money while meeting the credit needs of customers within their service area. Mascoma strives to be part of the fabric of the area by participating in civic affairs and donating to numerous deserving community groups and activities.
The Haven Through 40 Years
The Haven will commemorate its four decades of service to the region by releasing 40 stories of people, events, ideas, and services fundamental to our mission. We will be releasing these stories weekly, so check back often.