The Seacoast Family Food Pantry (SFFP) is one of the oldest social service agencies in New Hampshire. We began in 1816 by a small group of women whose goal was to feed the families of fishermen in Portsmouth, NH. Since these humble beginnings, we have grown to become a nearly $500,000 organization. Originally named the Ladies Humane Society, we changed our name in 2007 to better reflect the services we offer in our community. Our focus is not only to provide food and basic necessities but to inspire, encourage and teach our families how to make nutritionally sound food choices and prepare healthy meals. We continuously work with community partners including local farmers, grocers and the Portsmouth Farmers' Market to ensure we provide fresh fruits, vegetables, high quality proteins and whole grains year round. At SFFP we strive to fulfill the needs of low-income individuals and families with food, personal care products and education for healthy living. Services are provided on both an emergency and on-going basis, respecting the dignity of each individual.
We continue to evolve and adjust our services and offerings to best meet the needs of our community. In 2007, we were serving 50-70 households a month. That figure has since grown to more than 350 families each month! Our overarching goal is to provide healthy food alternatives for people in financial need. In response to heightened and changing needs in our community, we are also concentrating on the specific needs of two fast-growing special populations: vulnerable elders and children. We are working to increase our services to the elderly with a goal of reducing medical issues caused by poverty or poor diet. We are also focused on providing our children with food and education about healthy eating in order to build a lifetime of healthy habits.