PORTSMOUTH — PALS, Inc. or Portsmouth Area Ladies, has made a $3,000 donation to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund to help with the extreme need to feed area children this summer, according to PALS’s president Tess Midkiff.
Prompted by a recommendation from PALS’ Children Outreach Co-chairwomen Betty Kennedy and Julia Wisniewski, the PALS organization of volunteer women took immediate action to approve the measure even though it has not been able to have an inperson meeting since early March.
PALS’ decision to make the donation was based upon several factors. First, the critical need was created because many of the traditional summer food programs were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mark Hunter, Executive Director of the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, was asked to help fill that gap with food from the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund program and he agreed to do so, impacting available funds for the Hunter Hope Fund for the rest of the year.
“We have only been able to continue the Hunter Hope Fund program because of our strong partnership with the FreeStore Food Bank, our regional Food Bank,” said Hunter.
In addition, although the Hope Fund Tennis Tournament has not been definitely canceled for this summer, it is likely that it will be due to Covid-19, according to Hunter. The annual tournament earns 50% the operating budget for the food program, further impacting its ability to feed children this year.
“Virgie and I are so grateful on behalf of hundreds of local hungry children for this very generous and timely donation from PALS. During the Covid-19 pandemic, our resources have been strained. The
needs have increased during a time when we have had to curtail almost all of our fundraising activities,” said Hunter. “This gift will provide 1,000 Steven’s Power Packs which, in turn, will provide 4,000 meals for these precious children. Many thanks to all the members of the PALS organization for doing so much to improve the lives and the quality of our community.”
“The Portsmouth Area Ladies are happy to offer $3,000 to support the good work that the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund does in feeding children in our community,” said Midkiff. “This is exactly the type of project that helps us fulfill our mission of ‘making the Portsmouth area a better place.’ At times like these, with the Covid-19 pandemic canceling summer programs, other sources of food are not available. We are pleased to partner with the Hope Fund to help our kids.”