Due to the coronavirus outbreak, my summer did not unfold quite the way I expected it to. I had planned on many busy days serving the Granite State as Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen and even traveling down to Orlando to compete on the national stage with new friends from around the country. After all of that was suddenly put on hold, I found myself with an unusual amount of “free” time and instantly began planning how I could fill it up.
One of the ideas I thought of was to get my first paying job. Although I wouldn’t consider it my first job after running a non-profit and being a representative for MAOTeen, I began working at a coffee shop and ice cream parlor down the street from my house. Whether I was scooping a sundae or brewing an americano, I was so happy to still be out in my community all summer despite these unexpected circumstances.
I had a great summer working at Triple Elm, but nothing could ever distract me from my true passion and purpose to help end food insecurity everywhere. Immediately after getting hired, I began negotiating a promotion for customers to get a discount off their order when they bring in a donation for the food pantry. Soup kitchens and food banks are struggling more than ever to keep up with the unprecedented need that the pandemic has caused. Within just a few days, our donation box was full.
It became routine for the boxes to fill up just in time for my weekly trip to the food pantry. And every week, there even seemed to be a little more.
We also established a new pairing for my Win-Win initiative, which connects local restaurants throughout New Hampshire with organizations like food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in their area where they can donate their left over food. Triple Elm donated dozens of bagels to the Sandown Food Pantry and will continue to do so with other unsold food, thanks to the federal Bill Emerson Food Donation Act.
Over the weekend, I worked my last shift as summer has all of a sudden come to an end and it’s time for me to refocus back on school. It was my last time dropping off boxes of food at the pantry as an employee, although I know it won’t be long until I am back. I won’t be working at Triple Elm anymore, but you can STILL bring a donation for the food pantry for 10% off your order. Every bit helps!