Nashua Soup Kitchen dinner and auction is Nov. 3

I am not a party animal, which you’ve probably guessed by now, if you’ve ever read my column before this one. But one party I always attend is the one that the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter has every year: The NSKS Dinner and Silent Auction. This year is the 18th dinner and silent auction, and this year it’s different. We’re dressing up for the kids.

Really. That’s our theme this year: Let’s Get Dressed Up for the Kids. Why? Because the children of Nashua need our help. Did you know that there is a serious hunger problem among schoolchildren in Nashua? If you did not know before, you know now – 65 percent OR MORE of the children who attend school at Dr. Crisp, Fairgrounds, Ledge Street, Mt. Pleasant and Amherst Street are eligible for free and reduced lunches. Some schools are as high as nearly 75 percent. And it is safe to say that there are children going to bed hungry from every school in this city.

You probably think, “Isn’t that hunger already being taken care of by the free breakfast and lunch program?” Well, the children who qualify for those programs do get free breakfast and lunch. They’re probably not hungry when they’re at school.

But what happens when they go home? There are children going to bed hungry in our city. And over the weekends? I think there are children counting the hours over the weekend for school to begin so they can eat.

The Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter established Nashua Meals for Kids to end childhood hunger in Nashua by providing an evening meal each day to children who would otherwise go hungry – when school’s in and when school’s out.

The Soup Kitchen specializes in feeding hungry people. Of the people who live in poverty here in Nashua, 11 percent are 18 or younger. In collaboration with other local agencies, Nashua Meals for Kids is currently providing meals to the Dr. Crisp school area, Title One: Pre-K, PAL and the Greater Nashua Boys & Girls Club. From June 2017 to June 2018, NSKS delivered 23,940 frozen evening meals.

And we think that working together, we can make Nashua the first city in the nation to end childhood hunger.

It’s truly not an impossible task. We know how many kids we need to feed, and we know how to do it. We know how much it will cost – $200,000. That’s not an enormous amount of money, is it, if we all participate?

One way to participate in ending child hunger is to come to the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter’s Dinner Auction on Nov. 3 .

It’s a fun event. On that first Saturday in November, we’ll be at the newly renovated courtyard Marriott, for a meal – you choose what you’d like to eat – and an auction. Well, two auctions: One is live and one is silent. Both auctions feature great items: two of the paintings in my house are from the NSKS Auction, as well as a number of one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. This year’s live auction includes a fall getaway to Nantucket, a piece of Ted Williams memorabilia and a Porsche Boxster for a weekend. There will be the usual fun and games: the Wall of Wine and Head & Tails, plus a table-decorating competition.

Come.

Even better, come by sponsoring us! There are all kinds of levels of sponsorship – everything from $250 to $5,000. And if you’d like to donate more, we’re happy to accommodate you.

You’ll have fun and you’ll have no guilt. After all, all the money raised will be for the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter’s programs, and our special Fund-A-Need Live Auction will be for Meals for Kids.

Think about it. Think seriously.

It costs $30 per month to feed a child through Nashua Meals for Kids. If, for some reason, you cannot attend the auction, could you donate $30? It won’t solve the world’s problems, but it will the problems of a hungry child in our city for a month.

I hope to see you at the Auction. I’ll be there, checking people in. Please stop by and say hello.

If you’d like tickets, or to sponsor us at the auction or to donate (either an item for the auction or with a check), call Erika at 603-889-7770, ext. 110.

Come to the auction. Feel good while doing good.

June Lemen is a freelance writer from Nashua. Her column appears the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Email her at june@junelemen.com.