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TOWNSEND — Serve New England continues to reward those who help the local community with deals on grocery packages.

Anyone who helps the community in some way, for at least two hours a month, is given the opportunity to buy groceries at up to 50 percent off grocery store prices.

“The program is meant for everyone,” said local Serve New England coordinator Albert “Tubby” Boucher. “You just need to take the time to help the community in some way.”

Anything that helps someone in the community can count toward the program. Volunteering time at a school or senior center, baby-sitting for a friend or helping someone with yard work all count as helping the community, said Boucher.

Inspired by the work of Mother Teresa, the nonprofit program has rewarded New England residents for community service since 1991. Geneva Brown Covington brought the nonprofit program to Townsend in 2005 after hearing about it in Fitchburg. Covington felt that groceries were too expensive for many seniors and families, and the program would help those in need.

About a year later, Covington brought local residents Avis Roy and Boucher into the fold to run the program in Townsend. Covington has since left the program, but Roy and Boucher have stepped forward.

“This is a wonderful program,” said Boucher, “The food is fantastic and the prices are very reasonable.”

Every month the program offers a $22 family package which varies month to month, but always provides a variety of items that would typically be picked up at the grocery store.

This month’s family package includes one pound frozen packages of hamburger patties, pork strips with Oriental sauce, John Morrell-brand kielbasa, and John Morrell all-beef hot dogs. Also included is a pound of potatoes, five pounds of onions, 1.5 pounds of carrots, four red delicious apples, five bananas, four peaches, six plums, a 16-ounce bag of lettuce salad mix, 6 ounces of radishes and a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.

Other packages under $20 are available and include frozen sirloin steaks and shrimp.

“There’s still time for people to sign up this month,” said Boucher. The deadline is July 16.

Once the order is placed, the food will be available to for pick-up at Memorial Hall on Saturday, July 28 at 9:30 a.m.

Boucher said people who are interested in the program but can’t think of a way to help the community can call for ideas.

Anyone interested in placing an order or asking further questions can contact Boucher at (978) 597-8876, or Roy at (978) 597-6829, or visit www.ServeNewEngland.org.

The program logs 75,000 hours of community service a month across New England, and serves thousands of people with grocery packages.

“It’s meant to give back to those who give to the community,” said Boucher.

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