Two weeks before Christmas, a Buxton woman volunteered to help feed the hungry in the community. She opened the doors of a new food co-op.

Groder founded and operates Buxton Community Food Co-op. She was asked and inspired by Jean Harmon, chairwoman of Buxton selectmen, to head up the operation.

Driving her Jeep and burning her own gas, Groder daily picks up food donated by the new Hannaford store in Buxton. She hauls it to the Pythian Sisters Temple building on Route 22 in Buxton Center. She hands it out to the needy there from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Because it’s so new, Groder wants to raise awareness in the community so the co-op can serve more needy.

The news has alread spread, however. One man with a hungry family heard about the co-op from a clerk at the Buxton Mini Mart. Groder said the man was desperate and went immediately to the co-op for food.

Groder said the man, who had been just laid off from his job and has three kids to feed, was grateful. “He said, You don’t know how much we need it,'” Groder said. “He was so happy.”

The donated food includes produce, fruit, bread and cakes. But the father, who lost his job, was so needy that Groder and her friend Carol Moore bought the family a turkey.

Another man picked up groceries at the co-op for his 94-year-old mother. Groder doesn’t ask names of those who come for the food. “Those with a need can come,” Groder said. “It’s helping the people.

Since she opened, several other volunteers have stepped forward to assist Groder loading the donated food. She had four, full shopping carts of food, including 10 Christmas cakes, Friday.

“My Jeep was full today I didn’t know how I could get everything in,” Groder said.

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