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Hampshire Pharmacy offering wellness program for children

Pharmacist Parag Maniar his drugstore Hampshire. | Jeanie Mayer photo

Pharmacist Parag Maniar at his drugstore in Hampshire. | Jeanie Mayer photo

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Updated: January 19, 2013 6:08AM

HAMPSHIRE — At a time when many businesses are cutting back on donations and community support efforts, one local business is making greater strides that ever. Hampshire Pharmacy’s Parag Maniar has started a free wellness program for kids.

“Every parent who signs up will get a free bottle of vitamins for each child every month,” Maniar said, adding that he expects to go through 400 to 500 bottles of the chewable vitamins per month.

“I want to do what I can for the community. Hampshire is a very healthy community. Lots of people walk, jog, work out and manage their health,” he said. “I want the next generation to be even healthier than this one.”

As part of the Helping Families Stay Healthy campaign, the free vitamin supplements are designed to help kids maintain a healthy immune system to prevent illness and experience less sick days at home during the school year. Maniar said the vitamins also help supplement nutrients that finicky eaters might not be getting from their diets.

“We are living in hard economic times….many families cannot afford proper food nutrition and health insurance. Hampshire Pharmacy wants to be the answer to these families by starting a monthly (vitamin) program.”

Maniar earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1993. Before coming to Hampshire, Maniar worked as a pharmacist at an Osco Drug in Westchester. He opened the Hampshire Pharmacy in July of 2011.

“I am blessed. The community has embraced me and we are really established already in just one and one-half years,” he said. “We are thankful for the support we have received from the community,” he said.

The Hampshire Pharmacy has supported the community in other ways as well. The donations of water bottles for the recent walk-a-thon at Hampshire Middle School and through the sponsorship of teams within the Hampshire Wildcats Youth Football and Cheer organization, the pharmacy has shown its commitment to the community.

“We do anything we can for the kids,” he said.

Renovations planned

Maniar is planning a renovation of the pharmacy interior to create more retail space in the store. In addition to school and office supplies, Maniar wants to offer more daily-needs items and gifts.

“I am planning a survey to see what people want in town, what (items) to carry. I want to make it convenient for people to shop in town. We want to make it fun to be here,” he said.

Parents can register for the free vitamin program by stopping by the Hampshire Pharmacy, 113 West Oak Knoll Drive.

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