Ah, poutine. This concoction of french fries, cheese curds and gravy is extraordinary comfort food for a cool fall day. A sold-out festival celebrating this quintessential French-Canadian treat will take place October 23 in Merrimack, NH, with 20 students from the UNH French Club volunteering to make it a success.
Earlier this semester, UNH French Club members reached out to several New Hampshire organizations to see how they might help support the Francophone community. They were invited to participate in the NH PoutineFest by the festival founder, Timothy Beaulieu ’03, a UNH alumnus. It seemed like a great fit, so the students committed.
NH PoutineFest is hosted by the Franco-American Centre of New Hampshire, a nonprofit based in Manchester, NH. All proceeds help support the Centre’s mission of preserving French language, culture and heritage in New Hampshire and beyond.
Elizabeth Lane, the French Club president, will be leading the UNH students, who will sport t-shirts that say "Je parle français" — “I speak French.” They will help attendees navigate the festival and make sure the poutine stands are running smoothly. Students will be at the ready to communicate in French for those who need or want to.
"It is important for the French Club to participate in activities like this because it encourages the members of the club to be more involved in the surrounding Francophone community, and, for some of them, it is a great occasion to practice their French outside the classroom,” says Lane, adding, “Volunteering also helps to promote the UNH community and, hopefully, to build important connections with the society at large."
For students wishing to join French Club, contact the French Club President, Elizabeth Lane, or the French Club advisor, Professor Ileana Chirila. To learn more about the French program at UNH, visit the program website.