Professionals from around downtown Manchester ate out Thursday afternoon at Veterans Park.
The event is the first in a series of lunches to be held over the summer. Hosted by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the program aims to rehabilitate the image of Veterans Park.
Jessica Chambers is the Parks Planner for the city of Manchester and says that the park has acquired a bad reputation:
“The park gets a bad rap for drug use, loitering, homelessness; I think that word has really detracted from the people coming by to visit it.”
The lunch is part of a broader effort by both the city and the Chamber to clean up downtown Manchester over the summer.
The Manchester Police Department is planning to increase its presence on Elm Street and in downtown parks. So-called spare change meters are being installed by the city to deter panhandling in front of businesses.
City officials came under fire in May from homeless advocates for denying a local charity a permit to serve breakfast to homeless people in Veterans Park.