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structure donated by Rimol:

US: Greenhouse project in Manchester, NH aims to aid shelter, kitchen, pantry

Deep in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, a new construction project has begun. That’s not unusual, but what is unique is that the structure itself – 30 feet wide and stretching for 70 more – may be key to boosting the future for people in need in the State’s largest city.

New Horizons for New Hampshire Inc. acquired an adjacent lot from the city with the agreement that they do something to improve it. They studied options, including expansion and renovation of their current building, but Director Charlie Sherman said those plans didn’t test well because of the economy. A combination of ideas came together, and he was approached by Rimol Greenhouse Systems, of Hooksett.

Rimol donated a building. Others in the city are teaming up to move the project along, with an end result being a place to grow vegetables for New Horizons clients, helping to offset a hefty $25,000-$30,000 yearly cost of veggies alone.

New Horizons is the state’s largest homeless shelter, soup kitchen and food pantry, according to Sherman. Every night, they feed 200-300 people. “For many, it’s the only real meal of their day,” Sherman said. They also provide temporary housing for 75-100 people each day at two facilities.

Sherman said the organization provides groceries for 900 families a month. He said it’s the only facility in the State that operates all three of those functions in essentially one location.

Part of that grocery package is vegetables. “We’re feeding 250 people each night, and every meal starts with a salad and vegetable. We’re buying all of that. We get a lot of that from Hannaford, but what we don’t get from them, we buy.”

Looking over the structure’s frame recently, Sherman said, “We’ll grow a tremendous amount of produce in this.”

The greenhouse usually costs $26,000 and will have a polycarbonate covering over its metal frame. The food grown inside will have its own obvious impact, but “the possibilities of what we can do with it are endless,” Sherman said.


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