Group Hope to ‘End 68 Hours of Hunger’ In Londonderry

There are 68 hours between the Friday school bell and Monday morning bus. During that time, an estimated 16 million children do not know if they will have enough to eat through the weekend. This is according to the “End 68 Hours of Hunger” program, whose goal is to make sure children are not “food insecure” when they are out of school. The nonprofit was founded in New Hampshire in 2011 and has since expanded outside the state to help more families.

The idea is simple. Kids in need are identified by school counselors or nurses. They are given bags of food on Friday afternoon that have been donated and packed by volunteers from the End 68 program to bring home for the weekend. This happens every week.

It can be difficult to notice that a child doesn’t get enough to eat at home. Some of the symptoms can be confused for other ailments. The End 68 program reports that some of the signs that a child may be “food insecure” is if they are hyperactive, aggressive, or irritable. They can also show signs of anxiety, distress, or passive/aggressive behavior. Some of the more extreme cases involve excessive absences, repetition of a grade, short attention spans or an inability to concentrate. Some students have difficulties forming and maintaining relationships, or they are frequently getting sick with headaches, sore throats or stomach aches.

According to the program’s website, all of the money donated to End 68 goes straight to providing food for these kids. It relies on mostly non-perishable food donations. It will accept donations of fresh fruits and vegetables, but it will not buy them “because we don’t know how long it might be until they go out to the children,” according to the website.

The program strives to offer 3,000 calories per bag of food per child to cover the weekend. Some of the food given out would typically include jars of peanut butter and jelly, nutrition bars, fruit cups, cereal, macaroni and cheese or ramen noodles and soup.

All the overhead costs that typically go into a program like this, for example, administrative expenses and website hosting fees are paid for by donations specifically allocated to that.

The closest chapter is in Derry, but the Londonderry school district is already starting to explore joining the program. Kim Carpinone, the director of pupil services, said there is a committee that is looking at how the district could support such a program, but it is in the “early stages” of researching what the requirements are to get started.

You can visit for more information on how to volunteer or donate to the program.

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