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  • September 11, 2021 6:12 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    Arts Alive! is offering mini-grants to artists and creative businesses in the Monadnock region. Applications are open from September 1 - October 31, 2021. Grants will be awarded to projects that further either the artist or creative business - expanding their professional abilities or increasing how many people artists or creative businesses can reach with creative arts experiences.

    The money will be given to artists, writers, performers, and creative business entrepreneurs. Grant awards will be distributed via a check. Awardees will need to fill out a W9 form to receive their payment.

    Arts Alive!’s mission is to support, grow, and connect a sustainable arts landscape in the Monadnock Region. “We want the Monadnock region to have a flourishing cultural community that values arts and culture and provides support to facilitate success.” The organization’s vision is that the greater community will take pride in the arts, which are seen as integral to a thriving society and economy.

    Apply online!

    OR

    Download the Application

    Mail your completed application to Arts Alive! 15 Eagle Court, Keene NH 03431.


  • August 24, 2021 2:43 PM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    This month, The Local Crowd Monadnock (TLC Monadnock), a community-based crowdfunding program, launched two local food-related campaigns. Perfect since August is NH Eats Local Month! One campaign for The Farm Café in Keene and the other for Food Connects in Brattleboro.  Whether you give $5 or $500, it all comes together to strengthen our local food system.

    The Farm Café: Outdoor Patio Campaign

    With more of us looking to dine local and outdoors, The Farm Café in Keene wants to meet this community need.  They recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase new outdoor tables, chairs, and umbrellas to create a welcoming and safe outdoor dining patio area in front of their business.      

    “Here at The Farm Café, our mission is to support small farms, businesses, and a local economy in the most eco-friendly way that we can,” said Chef Skip, owner of The Farm Café.  “We work hard to bring local, organic, real foods to you, our patrons, for your enjoyment.”

    As I write this article, they have reached 40% of their $3,000 goal. Give at certain levels and claim a great reward (or two) while they last.  Rewards include a Farm Café gift card, t-shirt, hoodie, the privilege of naming a new menu item, and a Chef’s VIP Night (a 3-course meal for two).

    Give Today!


    Food Connects: Farm to School in a Neighborhood Near You

    Food Connects is an entrepreneurial non-profit on a mission to create healthy families, thriving farms, and connected communities. They partner with local schools throughout southeastern Vermont to support their Farm to School initiatives, and they want to bring this work to the Monadnock Region!

    “We want to help Monadnock Region schools grow their Farm to School programming by collaborating with existing programs like the Cornucopia Project and Stonewall Farm,” said Laura Carbonneau, Food Connects Marketing Manager.  “Our work will help ensure more kids have access to local food, integrate more Farm to School curriculum, and supply more school staff with the support they need. When schools embrace Farm to School programming, students spend more time outdoors—gardening, engaging in hands-on lessons, and exploring the natural world.”

    After just one week, they have reached 40% of their $8,000 goal.  Rewards include Food Connects swag, a charcuterie platter, and a private kids’ cooking class. 

    Give today!

    More about TLC Monadnock

    Watch for more crowdfunding campaigns launching this fall, including a campaign to support this year’s Plaid Friday and Cider Monday campaigns.  Also, we plan to recruit more affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, and equity campaigns for a 2022 launch.  Please stay tuned.

    TLC Monadnock is a community-based crowdfunding platform that empowers individuals to support the businesses, organizations, and initiatives that grow wealthier and healthier communities in our region.  Crowdfunding, or the practice of raising funds to support a project from a large number of people, is a viable alternative to recruiting businesses from outside the region to boost economic activity.  Our goal is to raise at least $100K for ten campaign teams in 2021.  We’re thrilled to share that, as of today, we’ve supported eight campaign teams who have raised over $80K.  Our 2021 goal is in sight!

    TLC Monadnock is currently hosted by Monadnock Food Co-op and supported by the Greater Keene and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, and Monadnock Economic Development Corporation.   Have questions? Please contact me at jen@thelocalcrowd.com or 603-400-9157.

  • July 27, 2021 4:45 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    For the ninth year, let’s shine a light on local food, farms, and our Monadnock Region food system during New Hampshire Eats Local Month, a month-long celebration of our state’s harvest in August. 

    Discover more

    What do we mean by a food system?

    Our food system includes all the pieces needed to bring local food from the farm to our plates: the soil, farm workers, transportation networks, markets, and more -- everything needed to grow, harvest, and distribute these goods to us.  These pieces come together to form our local food system.

    Please dig in and enjoy this year’s bounty of updates!

    A Profession of Hope

    Land access remains the top challenge for beginning farmers in New Hampshire. Land For Good, a leader in farmland access based right here in Keene, helps address this challenge. Their New England Farmland Finder helps connect transitioning farmers with farm seekers. Over 4,000 farm seekers have subscribed to this service, hoping to secure land.

    “Farming is a profession of hope. Farmers of all types and scales anticipate every new growing season and production cycle with hope, now more than ever,” shared Lisa Luciani, Land For Good’s communications manager. “They move forward with hope about weather, market conditions, and sustaining their farms. We all remain hopeful for a more robust, equitable, and resilient post-COVID food system that strengthens our communities, economies, and ecosystems.” 

    Garden Angels

    Thirty gardeners are growing produce on more than forty plots at Monadnock View Community Garden (MVCG) on Park Avenue in West Keene this season.  MVCG also includes a pollinator garden and a communal raspberry patch. Subsidized plots are available for community members who may need assistance, courtesy of Antioch University’s Community Garden Connections.

    Area businesses donated 250 plants and “garden angels” planted them in available plots to grow vegetables for The Community Kitchen and Hundred Nights Shelter.  Garden angels share in the watering, weeding, and harvesting in these plots.

    If you are interested in securing a plot at the garden, contact Kristy Morrison with the City of Keene at kmorrison@ci.keene.nh.us. Contact Rowland Russell to learn more about becoming a garden angel at rrussell@antioch.edu.

    Food Hub Grows to Meet Demand

    Food Connects, a food hub based in Brattleboro, VT, has leveraged its longstanding ties with community producers and wholesale customers to meet increased demand for local food.  This year, they hired six new employees—doubling their staffing levels. They also built a second walk-in cooler and added a fourth refrigerated delivery vehicle.

    "As we responded to the community’s need for fresh, regional foods, we saw our sales double in 2020, growing to over $1.1 million," said McKenna Hayes, Food Hub Co-Director, "The year 2020 shined a bright spotlight on regional foods. Our challenge going forward will be to keep that light focused and carry the momentum of 2020 forward."

    From Farm to Fork

    During its 15th anniversary, Cornucopia Project in Peterborough expanded school garden programming to thirteen classrooms. Garden Educators delivered in-person lessons and developed classroom-ready lesson kits to support outdoor learning during the pandemic.  Culinary programs continued with meal kits designed for kids, bringing locally produced ingredients and fun lessons into families’ home kitchens.

    Cornucopia Project also worked with twenty-five restaurants and the Town of Peterborough to sponsor Peterborough Community Meals To Go. This innovative project raised over $85,000 to pay local restaurants to prepare free, healthy meals for community distribution through May of this year.

    Another new project, the Monadnock Farm to School Network (MF2S), is a partnership with the New Hampshire Farm To School Network and Stonewall Farm. The Network builds capacity for our region’s farm to school programs by collaborating on key issues like funding, finding resources and tools, sharing contacts, and brainstorming strategies.

    “By introducing food systems programs to students from preschool onward, we prioritize education that is rooted in sustainability and nutrition,” said Executive Director Lauren Judd. “These experiences enhance personal connections to food and the environment. We are committed to strengthening our community with healthy food education from farm to fork.”

    Local Food Stars

    Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition (MFCC), Monadnock Food Co-op, and Food Connects plan to launch a new “Local Food STAR” campaign, highlighting restaurants that source from local farms.  Stay tuned for more program details.

    MFCC also invites you to this year’s Monadnock Farm Tour on Saturday, August 21, from 12 pm – 5 pm. Seven Monadnock farms are opening their barns, pastures, hoop houses, flower gardens, and pudding plant.  Purchase tour wristbands at each farm for $5 per person ($10 per car).

    "Our community looked to local farms and farm products for secure, accessible, and affordable food over the last year, and our local food system answered the call,” shared Roe-Ann Tasoulas of MFCC. “Farmers worked together to offer each other’s products at farm stands, CSA sales were at an all-time high, and new programs were developed to get local and charitable food onto the plates of all members of our community. We are grateful to be an integral part of our Monadnock Local Food System.”

    Mobile Food Pantry

    The Community Kitchen and MFCC collaborated with food systems consultant Russ Moore to complete the Monadnock Mobile Food Pantry feasibility study.  The study found strong community support for enhancing food security services, emphasizing healthy, locally grown foods, by bringing a mobile pantry into communities across the Monadnock Region. Stay tuned for updates.

    “As The Community Kitchen celebrates NH Eats Local Month with more than a year of the pandemic behind us, we find our strength lies more than ever in community partnerships,” said Sarah Harpster of The Community Kitchen.  “There’s an incredible commitment within the community to close the loop between a strong local food system and people struggling to meet their nutritional needs.”

    Ten Years Growing

    Community Garden Connections celebrated its tenth year of educating gardeners and supporting garden programs throughout Keene. They assist social service agencies and community-based non-profits by providing funds for infrastructure, plants and seeds, and quality education and technical support.

    During the pandemic, they distributed 150 free container gardens and hundreds of seed packets to individuals throughout Cheshire County, donated over 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to The Community Kitchen, and provided take-home soup kits to Antioch University students.  

    Join them at a volunteer garden work party at the Westmoreland Garden Project at 702 River Road on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00 pm.  Contact CGC at communitygardens@antioch.edu.

    Thank you to all the individuals, programs, policies, and initiatives that continue to build more robust local and regional food systems in our corner of the state and throughout New England.  Together, we’re cultivating healthier citizens, communities, and economies.

  • July 11, 2021 8:16 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    It's time to start planning for this year's Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local efforts!

    We're kicking off our Shop Indie Local planning efforts with a crowdfunding campaignThe more funds we raise, the more we'll amplify our message.

    Together, we will:

    • Leverage the importance of supporting locally owned businesses.
    • Inspire more of us to shift our holiday spending to independent businesses.
    • Affirm our dedication to the local economy movement.


    Business Owners: Make the Pledge to Become Shop Indie Local Sponsor


    Show off your dedication to the local economy movement and support our Shop Indie Local efforts today!

    Shop Indie Local includes supporting Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, Small Business Saturday, and other promotions happening October 1 - December 31, 2021.

    With your support, we will continue to build traction -- inspiring more and more AND MORE community participation and media attention.

    Please consider supporting this year’s Plaid Friday, Cider Monday, and Shop Indie Local campaign at one (or more!) of the levels below.

    Plaid Friday Rock Star:  $50

    Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    Cider Monday Rock Star: $50

    Your logo will appear in our Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers).

    Plaid Friday/Cider Monday Rock Star: $150

    Your logo will appear in our Plaid Friday AND Cider Monday ad in the Monadnock Shopper News (~60,000 weekly readers) AND the Keene Sentinel (delivered to ~10,000 households).

    Plaid Friday Photo Booth Host: $250

    Sponsor a Plaid Friday Photo Booth in your town or business.

    Plaid Friday Radio Rock Star: $500

    Your business will be mentioned during one week of our Plaid Friday radio ads (2 sponsors highlighted in each ad).

    Plaid Friday Launch Sponsor: $1,000

    Sponsor a Plaid Friday launch in your town or at your business. Your name and logo will appear on our Launch Event marketing materials and press release. We'll plan this launch together.

    All sponsorship pledges are due by October 31, 2021.  Send us an email to pledge your sponsorship or click on the button below to purchase your sponsorship through our crowdfunding campaign.

    Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for all you do to support our local economy each and every day.

    Support Our Campaign Today!

  • June 29, 2021 2:13 PM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    Photo by Aysegul Yahsi on Unsplash 

    Affordable housing solutions come in all shapes and sizes.  Let’s focus on some small solutions: Home Sharing, Accessory Dwelling Units, and Tiny Houses.

    Home Sharing

    Home Sharing provides one quick way to boost affordable housing options. Instead of living alone, you can share your home with housemates.  But how do you find the right housemate for you?  Enter Sharing Housing, Inc., a nonprofit based in East Dummerston, VT, on a mission to elevate this affordable housing solution.

    “Even before the pandemic, many people struggled with housing costs and social isolation,” said Annamarie Pluhar of Sharing Housing. “Shared housing is a viable solution many of us overlook when considering where and how to live, despite multiple advantages -- social, emotional, and financial.”

    Last July, ninety community members supported Sharing Housing’s crowdfunding campaign on The Local Crowd Monadnock.  Sharing Housing raised over $10K to create a self-paced online course called Discovering Shared Housing, to help individuals find and keep good housemates.  Start with their free online course, 5 Key Benefits of Shared Housing.

    Accessory Dwelling Units

    An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) includes an apartment over a garage, a tiny house in your backyard, or any small dwelling on the same land as your single-family house.

    “As the ‘missing middle housing’ concept is popularized among planners and designers, ADUs are poised to present the most viable stepping-stone solution for cities that are experiencing a housing crisis,” said Kol Peterson, author of Backdoor Revolution - The Definitive Guide to ADU Development.

    In 2017, New Hampshire laws changed to make it easier for homeowners to build ADUs, to boost the state’s affordable housing supply without developing more land. The City of Keene allows property owners to build attached ADUs in all residential districts and detached ADUs are allowed in the rural and agricultural districts without a conditional use permit.  There are rules around size restrictions, parking needs, and other requirements.

    “Not every state has made widespread access to ADUs official,” said Jess Kelley of Solid Roots Construction in Manchester.  “It is an incredible step forward for New Hampshire, but, as we realized in the course of working with our customers who wanted to build one, many people still aren’t aware that they even have the option.”

    Chris Lee of the company Backyard ADUs based in Brunswick, ME, guides people through the process of building an ADU, from design to permitting to move-in day.  You can purchase a feasibility study of your land and local zoning rules from them for $450.

    “When we started working on ADUs, we thought the mission was to help homeowners build rental units in their backyards,” shared Chris. “But, we quickly realized there was simply a huge gap in available housing -- there are not enough quality small [not tiny] homes to go around and most builders don’t want to build them.”

    Tiny Houses

    Like the name states, Tiny Houses are small homes usually under 600 square feet built on wheels or foundations.  A Tiny House is considered a ADU if it’s on the same land as a single-family house but can also be located in a standalone property or clustered to form a neighborhood.  In Keene, a tiny house is not permitted in most zoning districts since an ADU must be attached to the primary residence.

    State and local regulations can present challenges to those who want to go tiny. Earlier this year, state representatives introduced House Bill 588, requiring that municipalities allow Tiny Houses anywhere any single-family homes are permitted.  The bill, however, did not pass.

    “We’ve had many people who really want to buy them but couldn’t find a place they were allowed,” said Anne Mellin, co-owner of Tiny Living Spaces. “Unless you own property that you already have a house on and put the tiny home in as a second dwelling, you can’t do it.”

    Learn more about Affordable Housing legislation

    Small Change

    How do we bring more of these small solutions to our region?  While TLC Monadnock offers rewards-based crowdfunding, a platform called Small Change provides real estate investment crowdfunding.

    Small Change allows everyday people to invest in real estate projects that “change cities and neighborhoods for the better.” They select projects that boost walkability and bike-ability, offer better access to healthy food and green spaces, and elevate other attributes that increase the quality of life for all.

    I’d love to see a developer launch a Small Change campaign in our region. Please learn more and spread the word about Small Change.  

    Let’s elevate these small solutions together!  We’re in the very early stages of organizing an event to amplify these small solutions in our region.  Stay tuned here or contact me at jen@thelocalcrowd.com.

  • June 26, 2021 6:26 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    First I watched the trailer. Then I read the book. Then I saw the movie. The super star: Michael Shuman. The hot plot: local investing.

    The trailer was a talk on local and grassroots investing by Shuman last fall, hosted by The Local Crowd Monadnock. Inspired, I read Shuman's recent book Put Your Money Where Your Life Is.

    This spring, I attended Shuman's first “movie,” a four-week workshop. My experience only got better and better, especially since I started out with a level of interest in investing comparable to, say, gathering information for my taxes. Necessary, but painful.

    Then, as my level of knowledge about investing was even more pitiful than my level of interest, I braced myself for some good old patronizing disbelief from the experts: You don't understand how stocks and bonds work? You don't automatically compute rates of return? You've never heard of a solo 401K or a self-directed IRA? You don't even get the big deal about retirement funds? What planet do you live on?

    I live on a farm planet. A small farm planet.

    My fellow and I farm here in southwestern NH, growing three acres of vegetables biodynamically, working with draft horses, for our 60-member CSA garden. We also sell produce at a local farmers' market. We have been making our living as farmers for over twenty years, not an easy task, but one made possible in part by a thrifty budget and by friends, neighbors, and local vegetable- lovers.

    Maybe someone loans us a truck, or barters plumbing or farrier work, or helps us set up our website. Someone helps us get the hay in before the rain, or helps us get our naughty horses back in the pasture after a jaunt around the neighborhood. Someone picks up our daughter after school, or makes us a surprise meal. Lots of someones sign up for shares of produce, or buy vegetables at our market stand. Both our farm economics and our quality of life depend on the community.

    But now that we two farmers and our four workhorses are nearing our mid-fifties, we notice that a hard day in the field is a little more daunting than it used to be. How can we continue to live and work on a tight budget, on our farm, before and during retirement, and do it with care for our local community, which also cares for us?

    Enter Michael Shuman. His dry wit and kind, down-to-earth manner, combined with his expertise in local investing, made for a pleasant surprise. (Turns out investing talk isn't nearly as painful as the taxes. It can actually be kind of interesting!)

    Shuman gave an entirely digestible overview of investing in general, followed by a picture of the giant corporate investing world. Next was the welcome news of the range of possible local, grassroots investments: from paying off your credit cards to installing energy-saving devices in your home, from crowdfunding to municipal bonds, from helping friends or family expand a small business to investing in a company such as Equal Exchange, with its fair trade coffee and chocolate, which assists the small farmers who are our global neighbors.

    My favorite part of the workshop was learning about people all over the country who are investing in their communities in all kinds of ways, from small farms and solar panels and affordable housing to co-ops and local restaurants and community loan funds.

    In Port Townsend, Washington, there's the community-owned Quimper Mercantile, a department store started by community members because there was no place in town to shop.

    In Ann Arbor, Michigan, there's Zingerman's Deli, whose owners wanted to expand, but not become a chain. Instead of going wide, they went deep, by looking closely at what came into and out of the deli. Now there are around a dozen small businesses in Ann Arbor connected with the deli, including a bakehouse, a coffee roasting company, a creamery, a restaurant, and a fancy cake business.

    In my own state of New Hampshire, there's the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (homes, farms, food, small businesses!). People all over are investing in local economies, ecologies, and racial and social equity, all of which builds stronger, healthier, and more secure and vibrant communities.

    Gee, it's enough to make a farmer want to save a little money and make a local, grassroots investment (even if it's at the hundred dollar level!). After all, we love community. We love small. We love local. We love sustainable. We love grass, and we love roots.

    Our four work horses agree completely. In fact, they may be wondering right now why a farmer is writing about local investing this time of year. Shouldn't you be fixing the fence? So we can go out to pasture? And eat the local grass? Come on now, farmer.

    Originally published in the Monadnock Shopper News, June 2 - June 8, 2021

  • May 23, 2021 8:38 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    In early February, The Local Crowd Monadnock, Culinary Journeys, and Food Connects partnered to launch the Monadnock Restaurant Project, a homegrown stimulus program to help give the local restaurant economy the shot in the arm it needed to get through this winter. In March, Luca's Mediterranean Café recorded the best March in its 20-year history!

    We’re thrilled to share more about what this grassroots effort accomplished and how we plan to support an exciting community event called A Taste of Keene Food Festival, taking place on June 5 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Central Square in Keene.


    A Truly Homegrown Stimulus

    Thanks to 132 supporters, we raised $30,121 through a TLC Monadnock crowdfunding campaign.  This community support empowered us to purchase 1,210 gift cards from 51 local restaurants.  Thirteen business partners worked to quickly get these gift cards into the hands of their staff and community members, asking them to purchase double what each card was worth.  

    “These cards were not gifts, but a call to action,” said Luca Paris, owner of Luca's Mediterranean Café and founder of Culinary Journeys. “We anticipate that community members will spend at least twice the amount of what their gift card is worth, doubling the project’s impact by infusing $60,000 to these cash-strapped businesses. The more we spend locally, the more dollars we reinvest in our local economy.”

    Our business partners included American House, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Cheshire Medical Center, Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services, Keene Fire Department, Mascoma Bank, The Keene Sentinel, Monadnock Broadcasting Group, Monadnock Shopper News, Nanotech, Savings Bank of Walpole, 17ROX, and The Peak.

    The project also inspired others to pay it forward to support the local restaurant economy. Businesses such as Aloha Keene, Clark-Mortenson Insurance, Heaven Hair Gallery Salon, Historical Society of Cheshire County, The Insurance Source, Monadnock Food Co-op, Northern Lights Cheerleading, The Richards Group, and others launched their own efforts to support the Monadnock Restaurant Project movement.

    A special thank you to 17ROX and Savings Bank of Walpole for providing matching challenges to motivate more people to give to our crowdfunding campaign.  We also thank Alexis Chesney, Laura Carbonneau, and Monadnock Food Co-op for offering sponsored rewards during our campaign. These businesses and individuals donated $500 or more to our crowdfunding campaign: Eleanor Briggs, Electronic Imaging Materials, Inc., Patricia Kasal, The Keene Sentinel, Julie & Greg Tewksbury, Northeast Mountain Footwear/Fred's Shoes, Saving Bank of Walpole, Culinary Journeys, and 17ROX (plus other who chose to remain anonymous).  

    Stay tuned for Monadnock Restaurant Project updates at tlcmonadnock.com/stimulus.


    A Taste of Keene Food Festival

    To encourage participation in A Taste of Keene Food Festival on June 5, the Monadnock Restaurant Project will offer participating restaurants a stipend to ensure that these businesses can cover the costs associated with providing delicious offerings during this event.  The Keene Young Professionals Network (KYPN) will host this event, with support from the City of Keene and community volunteers.

    “What we really need is people coming out and feeling safe visiting these restaurants again,” said organizers from KYPN. “What we can do is provide an outdoor opportunity for the participating restaurants to showcase their dishes and make some money, abide by all local, state, and CDC guidelines, and schedule it when more people will either be vaccinated or feel comfortable attending. We hope to see you there!”

    The event includes restaurant stations where local Keene restaurants will provide samples of their popular offerings (you purchase tokens to get the samples you wish to try), a local craft biergarten to sip on a selection of our region's best brews and spirits (21 and over; please bring your ID; you purchase tickets to get the beverages you wish to enjoy), a hot pepper eating contest with cash prizes ($30 to enter, but free to watch), and cooking demos from local and regional chefs in the gazebo throughout the day. Check out all the details, including lists of participating restaurants and breweries at keeneypn.com.

    “Downtown merchants will be out on the sidewalks,” said event organizers.  “And Keene's Art Walk will be kicking off with events the same day, so wander up and down Main Street between bites and see what's out there.”

  • April 27, 2021 8:11 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR: The Local Crowd Monadnock and Monadnock United Way are teaming up to strengthen children and families in our community.


    Join us for the Start Small, Think Big campaign from May 10 through June 11. All gifts given to this crowdfunding campaign will benefit Monadnock United Way’s signature impact program, Impact Monadnock (IM). IM seeks to improve outcomes for all children in the Monadnock Region, from birth to age eight, and their families.

    Poverty, adverse experiences, and limited access to quality child-care negatively affect a child’s ability to grow to his or her fullest potential.

    Unfortunately, children in the Monadnock Region are affected by these factors more than most children in the state:

    • Just under 15% of children in Cheshire County were living in poverty in 2016, the second highest level in the state
    • Cheshire County has the third highest rate of child abuse and neglect in NH
    • The Monadnock Region has funding for just 16% of children eligible for Head Start, which serves children living at or below the poverty line.  Many working families who do not qualify for state assistance experience challenges paying for quality child-care.

    You can make a difference. 

    The most important investment we can make—focusing on the welfare of children from birth to age eight creates a strong foundation for their future health and happiness. And this in turn, leads to more stability and prosperity for the communities where they live.

    Please stay tuned for our campaign launch.  For more information, visit muw.org/impact.

  • April 25, 2021 7:20 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    What better time to get your bicycle out of storage and tuned up than National Bike Month starting May 1.  Led by the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Month is a time to celebrate bicycling and encourage those who don't bike to give it a try.

    NEW: May 2 is Ride A Bike Day!

    Why Bike? 

    Bicycling offers a fun and healthy way to get around.  Studies show cycling elevates mood, memory, and metabolism. Cycling also reduces our carbon emissions and overall environmental impacts. All great reasons to get rolling!

    This year's Bike Month theme is "Bike There." Since forty percent of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles, shifting some of those trips from automobiles to bicycles can have a significant impact. Whenever you're about to hop into your car to travel somewhere a mile or two from home, ask yourself, "Can I bike there instead?" If the answer's yes, we hope you'll go for it.


    Love To Ride

    In addition to shifting your trips, we hope you'll track your miles on Love to Ride's website.  Once you're registered, you can also sign up for their National Bike Challenge.  Create your own goals, connect with other bicyclists and perhaps even win a prize.  

    Get Started


    I've tracked 508 miles over 139 trips on Love to Ride.  The site motivates me to bike more by converting my miles into pounds of carbon dioxide reduced and calories consumed.  It tells me I've burned off 18,811 calories and reduced my carbon footprint by 160 pounds. For a bit more fun, you can enter your goals not just in miles but chocolate bars, pints of beer, or slices of cake burned off.


    Last May, Monadnock Food Co-op, Monadnock International Film Festival, and Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation hosted a virtual screening of the film, MOTHERLOAD, exploring cargo and electric bicycles.  The film made such an impression that when my car died last summer, I decided to replace it with a cargo e-bike. It's a blast to ride with lots of room for groceries.

    "If you're wondering how we can do more post-COVID-19 than just getting back to 'normal' but actually make a better world -- watch this movie," shared Ted White, Keene State College. "The film is about bicycling -- yes, but also visionary dreams, sensory joy, soul-health, our struggle to escape the entrapment of technology, a way out of a consumption-based existence, and more."

    "An electric assist bike allows a non-biker the opportunity to get started with biking that they may otherwise would not have the capacity to do," said Mike Kowalczyk, Monadnock Region Rail Trail Collaborative. "It's a means for those that have been inactive to become active and enjoy the outdoors. It also benefits current bikers by giving them the ability to go farther."

    Contact me at marketing@monadnockfood.coop if you'd like to see the film. If we get enough interest, we can schedule an encore screening.

    While just past Bike Month, the Kiwanis Kool Wheels Event will happen on June 5, from 10 am to 1 pm at the Keene Recreation Center.  Kool Wheels is a free family event where kids ages 4-12 may select a new bicycle helmet and learn about bike safety. Kids can bring their bicycles to the event for a tune-up.

    Besides bicycling more this May (and hopefully watching the film MOTHERLOAD), take the time to connect with the groups building a more robust cycling culture in our region and beyond.


    Hope to see you bicycling in May!

  • April 11, 2021 9:17 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    We have wonderful news to share!  We successfully completed our crowdfunding campaign for the Monadnock Restaurant Project.  We raised $30,121 from 132 donors. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!
     
    While our campaign ended, our work continues:

    • All 600 gift cards for Phase 2 of our work were delivered to our business partners: American House, Cheshire Medical Center, Home Healthcare, Hospice & Community Services,  Keene Fire Department, Mascoma Bank, Monadnock Shopper News, Savings Bank of Walpole, 17ROX, and The Peak. Now our partners are working hard to get these gift cards in the hands of staff and community members.
    • We’re collecting the impacts of our work by reaching out to Phase 1 restaurants and business partners. Do you have a story/quote to share the reflects the impact of this project on you and our community?  Please let us know!
    • To encourage participation in A Taste of Keene Food Festival on June 5, we’re providing local restaurants with a stipend to ensure that they can cover the costs associated with providing delicious offerings during the event.

    Some special thank yous:

    • Matching Challenges - Thank you to 17ROX and Savings Bank of Walpole for providing matching challenges to inspire more people to give to our crowdfunding campaign.
    • Sponsored Rewards – We thank Alexis Chesney, Laura Carbonneau, and Monadnock Food Co-op for offering sponsored rewards during our campaign.
    • Homegrown Heroes – These businesses and individuals donated $500 or more to our campaign: Eleanor Briggs, Electronic Imaging Materials, Inc., Patricia Kasal, The Keene Sentinel, Julie & Greg Tewksbury, Northeast Mountain Footwear/Fred's Shoes, Saving Bank of Walpole, Culinary Journeys, and 17ROX (plus other who chose to remain anonymous).
    • Community Heroes – THANK YOU to our 132 supporters.  You’re all heroes to us!

     
    Please keep in touch with our project by signing up for updates through The Local Crowd Monadnock.
     
    Yours locally,
    Luca Paris, Jen Risley, Laura Carbonneau, and Monica Marshall
     
    PS: Our Snacktime Selfie Contest continues! Help spread the word and get a change to WIN. (Thanks to Elm City Brewing for this image.)


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