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NASCAR Star Jeff Gordon Makes Pit Stop in NH Today

July 14, 2011

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will make a pit stop in New Hampshire today as part of a national effort called "Drive to End Hunger." The race star parks at the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester, which is collaborating with AARP New Hampshire (AARP-NH) and the AARP Foundation to raise funds and awareness about hunger.

According to AARP-NH state director Kelly Clark, more than 51 million Americans face the threat of hunger. She points out that 6 million of them are older adults.

"Here in the Granite State, one in seven older people report not having enough money to buy food. So this is a critical initiative for the AARP Foundation: to fight hunger and to excite NASCAR fans and other caring individuals to join us in leaving hunger in the dust."

The AARP Foundation will present the New Hampshire Food Bank with a $10,000 donation, which will provide about 70,000 meals to those in need. The event kicks off today at 2 p.m., featuring Jeff Gordon, games and prizes, with a $5 donation requested.

Sara Beaudry, director of development for the New Hampshire Food Bank, says in 2010 they distributed more than 6.5 million pounds of food in the state, and they expect double-digit increases this year and next. They currently serve about 130,000 people, she adds, and this time of year donations typically dip down - unlike during the holidays.

"Summertime is a slow time here at the Food Bank, and so this couldn't have come at a better time. And because it is a three year partnership, we are ecstatic!"

New Hampshire Food Bank distributes food to some 400 agencies in the state, including food pantries and soup kitchens.

The event takes place at the NH Food Bank, 700 East Industrial Drive, Manchester, rain or shine, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. More information is available at www.facebook.com/AARPNH.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH