Podcast: Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, Community Action Handing Out Grocery Gift Cards to Needy

(File photograph.)

With poverty rates climbing in Greater Haverhill, the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission is partnering with Community Action of Haverhill to put grocery gift cards in the hands of families that need help most.

The Christmas project, says Merrimack Valley Hope Mission founder Joseph D’Amore involves collecting donations of $25 Market Basket gift cards from that are then distributed by Community Action.

“So I decided to partner with Kerri Perry, the new executive director at Community Action. What we decided to do was to empower the staff with Market Basket food cards of $25. We’ve generated a little more than $3,000 in gift cards. Our goal is $5,000 and the event will end on Christmas Day,” he notes.

D’Amore, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, says the staff at Community Action is handing out the cards as a way to help people who are coming to the agency for services and programs. He adds, it’s a great opportunity to reach out to people on a very personal level. Recent statistics, according to D’Amore, show poverty has taken a bad turn in the Haverhill area.

“Where you see the greatest evidence of that, all nine food banks in Haverhill are experiencing significant surges in  the number of people that require their services. In fact, I’ll give you one example at the Sacred Hearts Food Pantry. For about 30 years, they’ve been averaging 300 to 400 families per month. They’re (now) averaging 1,300 to 1,500 per month. We’re looking at numbers that we have never seen before,” he explains.

People looking to make donations will find information on Merrimack Valley Hope Mission’s Facebook page.

“So what people are doing, I’m asking them to just buy the cards and then either just drop them off at my house, or I pick them up. I’ve had a few folks that it was more convenient for them to send me the check so that I would go and buy the cards for them, and everyone will get an acknowledgement letter directly from Kerri Perry, the executive director of Community Action, so they’ll see their name on a letter. It’s a tax-deductible gift, and it also acknowledges they’re a very important donation.”

D’Amore describes the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission as a humanitarian project. This past spring and summer, it organized a group of, what he called, “sewing angels,” who made and distributed more than 10,000 face masks for elderly, children and others in the fight against the coronavirus.

Besides WHAV.net, WHAV’s “Merrimack Valley Newsmakers” podcasts are available via Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and Alexa.

Comments are closed.