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C&S Wholesale Grocers and First Book have joined forces to give 50,000 new, age-appropriate books to schools and programs serving needy children in the C&S headquarters community of Keene, N.H. and throughout the state's Monadnock region. Through coordinated outreach efforts, First Book brought child-targeted programs permanent access to new books that will continue long after the initiative ends.
The goal of "Food for the Body, Food for the Mind" was to identify, register and connect nonprofit programs, libraries and schools serving disadvantaged children in southwest New Hampshire with First Book. Each child involved received three free new books, and the programs and schools received permanent access to First Book resources.
As well as schools, programs such as Head Start, food assistance groups, domestic violence shelters, community centers, libraries, nutrition programs and other organizations serving families got books, which were distributed in the towns of Alstead, Chesterfield, Hillsboro, Hinsdale, Jaffrey, Keene, Laconia, Marlborough, Troy and Westmoreland.
"Working in partnership with C&S enabled First Book to reach into communities with a pipeline of books and educational materials that will forever transform the quality of programs serving children in need in southwest New Hampshire," noted Kyle Zimmer, president of Washington-based First Book. "C&S leads the way in good corporate citizenship and in understanding that, just as children need proper nutrition to grow healthy bodies, they also need books to help grow healthy minds."
"Anytime, but especially now with the economic downturn straining family budgets, 50,000 books is a lot of books for a lot of kids," added Gina Goff, C&S director of corporate giving. "Our focus on New Hampshire follows a similar initiative with First Book in 2007, when we donated 120,000 free books to children in seven C&S communities across the country. What we've accomplished has the potential to inspire children and to change lives."
The 12th-largest privately held company in the United States, C&S provides distribution services to grocery chains and independent stores, delivering to more than 5,000 locations from its distribution centers in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, California and Hawaii.