Community Diary Response from Kim I.

2020-08-08 / Icovitti, Kim M.

013_KimI_Response.pdfpdf / 1.34 MB Download

Entry into the Community Diary. Includes five color photos and a hyperspeed video.

~ Icovitti, Kim M., “Community Diary Response from Kim I.,” Portsmouth Public Library's Online Archives, accessed June 20, 2024, https://portsmouthexhibits.org/items/show/2427.

Full Item Record

Dublin Core


Community Diary Response from Kim I.


Portsmouth (N.H.)
COVID-19 (disease)


Entry into the Community Diary. Includes five color photos and a hyperspeed video.


Icovitti, Kim M.


Community Diary: Portsmouth Covid-19 Pandemic 2020


Portsmouth Public Library, Special Collections










PPL-MS: 2020.4.013

Diary Item Type Metadata

Tell us a bit about your situation during this time period (employed / remote learning / caring for loved ones / sick / quarantined / etc.)

"I work at Exeter High School (NH) as a Library Media Assistant and I live in York, ME. So far, during the pandemic I have been able to keep my job. We went to remote learning on March 13, 2020. I did not have much library work to do so I began volunteering the following week for the Meals4Kids program at Gather. The Meals4Kids program usually lasts at most 13 weeks a year. The bulk of it is during the summer school break and then each of the school vacations. It provides meals for children during school breaks that get free or reduced lunch during the school year. This is a program normally run by Seneca, 3-4 college boys (known as Dairy Boys) and many wonderful volunteers. With the Dairy Boys now taking their college classes online it was up to us older folks to take the reins. We were a crew of 4 masked up over 40's (myself, Emily, Seneca, and Scott McKee) that were loading up 2 trucks from the Gather warehouses, setting up and distributing (while socially distancing) food farmers market style, reloading to move to the next location, repeat and finally back to the warehouse to unload. We did this 3 days a week with 2-3 stops on each day. On a good day we would give out and therefore move over 10,000 pounds of food. The college boys (one of them my son, Nathan McKee) were there to help unload at night which was a relief at the end of 10 hour day. The four of us did this for 13 weeks in all kinds of weather until the boys were done with school. I continue to be a dairy boy one day a week throughout the summer. So far we are on about week number 21 with no end in sight. This is the most physically challenging and rewarding work I have ever done! It has been a privilege to have been given the opportunity to volunteer at Gather. I truly do not know how I would have coped with all of the uncertainty of these trying times without working with Gather's Meals4Kids program. It is and will continue to be essential to my well being durning the pandemic. Making connections with so many different people in need has been an invaluable experience. Many, many people in all different walks of life. I have a lot of support in my family and friends but you never know what may happen. It could easily be anyone of us on the receiving end of standing in a Gather food line. Lastly, I am so fortunate to have remained healthy as have my family and friends. We have created a bubble amongst ourselves so we are able to enjoy family picnics in our backyards."

Share an uplifting story of neighbors helping neighbors or a story that made you smile during this time

"In June of 2020, Charles Leinbach and I, started a neighborhood food drive on Stark Street for Fill the Hall (Music Hall) that benefits Gather (local food pantry that has been around for 200 years). We collected a lot of food. It was inspiring to be able to collect so much food for those in need during such uncertain times. Gather hoped to raise $20K and 20,000 pounds of food. They ended up raising over $70K and over 20,000 pounds of food. So many wonderful people in our community!"

What memory of this time do you think will stay with you?

"I turned 50 this summer and I was lucky enough to be able to take a road trip with my partner, Charles, to Bar Harbor, ME and Acadia National Park for a few days. Of course it was a different birthday celebration than usual because of the pandemic. Of course the same rules apply while we were away as when at home; social distancing, mask wearing and lots of hand washing! We were able to hike, bike, and kayak in a beautiful part of Maine. We did curbside pick up for our meals and had many beautiful dinning location choices to set up our chairs to eat. I really feel very selfish for having such a nice memory. I truly do understand and appreciate how fortunate I am to live where I do and to have had all of my family and friends healthy during this time."

Has this experience changed you? If so, how?

"The Covid 19 pandemic has changed me in a way that I did not expect. I learned that being of service is not only satisfying but essential to the mind and spirit. It has kept me afloat during these trying times to be surrounded by people helping people. I have done volunteer work in the past but not as much as I have been able to do recently. Post Covid pandemic life I will continue to make the time to volunteer in a way I haven't in the past."

What has been the most challenging part of this experience?

"I have been extremely lucky so far during this pandemic. I think the "normal" day to day social interactions is what I miss the most. I am lucky to be in a great relationship and to have family close by so I really can not complain much at all. It has been difficult not seeing family for periods at a time but I am so lucky that I am able to see them at all. I guess I would say keeping my anxiety, about the health of myself and everyone around me, at bay has been most challenging."

Explain or describe the shared photograph(s)

"1. My son Nathan McKee and I warming up outside of the refrigerated dairy truck, 2. loaded up and ready to go, 3. taking a break from making bags of milk, eggs and meat, 4. Charles, my Mum (Barbara Icovitti) and myself dropping off food from our neighborhoods for Fill the Hall, 5. hiking during my 50th birthday week in Acadia National Park with Charles."

Explain or describe the shared document(s)

"My son and I making dairy bags (milk, meat and eggs)."