Thursday, November 22, 2018

Hockomock YMCA: School-Based Food Pantry Partnerships

The Hockomock Area YMCA is proud to announce a new focus on school-based food pantry partnerships and collaborative models across its 15-community service area. This work is part of the Y’s Healthy Futures Initiative, a commitment to promoting physical activity and nutrition to improve health outcomes for youth and communities. This initiative is generously supported by the Stop and Shop Our Family Foundation.

While local food pantries provide a critical service in our communities, school-based food pantry options can complement community offerings. These models allow students to discreetly access a supply of healthy food directly from their schools, especially prior to the weekend when there are often challenges with reliable sources of healthy meals. Additionally, school personnel who know the children and families in the district can help to identify those who may be in need of this service or who may not be comfortable accessing a traditional food pantry.
Hockomock YMCA
Hockomock YMCA

In 2017, the Hockomock Area YMCA and the Stop and Shop Our Family Foundation supported five school-based food pantry launched through the Stop and Shop Mini Grant program, and several more school-district/food pantry partners will be applying for program launch support in 2018-2019.

School districts that received funding to start these projects in 2017 included Franklin, Plainville, Wrentham, Hopedale, and Bellingham. The Franklin Food Pantry, Our Daily Bread Food Pantry in Plainville, and the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Bellingham have been invaluable partners to their respective school districts as these projects grow.

The Foundation for MetroWest is also supporting the Hockomock Area YMCA’s efforts to grow this program in Milford in 2018, where several elementary schools will partner with the Daily Bread Food Pantry in Milford to offer this service to students.

Eric Elmore, Brookside Elementary School Principal shared, “Brookside Elementary School is excited to collaborate with the Hockomock Area YMCA to support our scholars and their families. In order to provide our scholars with the best educational opportunities it is important their basic needs are met first. Only when they have food in their stomachs can they focus on learning and growing.”

Food pantries can always benefit from additional donations to support these and similar programs. Needed items include healthy staples that are lightweight and small enough in size to go home in a backpack. 

For more information or to inquire about donations, please contact Marykate Bergen, Director of Community Wellness at the Hockomock Area YMCA,, 774-571-8029.

About the Foundation for MetroWest:
Established in 1995, the Foundation for MetroWest is the only community foundation serving the 33 cities and towns in the region. We promote philanthropy in the region, help donors maximize the impact of their local giving, serve as a resource for local nonprofits, and enhance the quality of life for all our residents.
Since inception, the Foundation has granted $15 million to charitable organizations and currently stewards more than $22 million in charitable assets for current needs and future impact. To learn more, please visit or call 508-647-2260.

About the Hockomock Area YMCA:Where Cause Meets Community. At the Hockomock Area YMCA, strengthening community is our cause. The Hockomock Area YMCA is an organization of men, women, and children sharing a commitment to nurture the potential of kids, promote healthy living, and foster a sense of social responsibility.

The Hockomock Area YMCA is committed to partnering and collaborating with others to create and deliver lasting personal and social change in the 15 communities they are privileged to serve. The Hockomock Area YMCA is a not-for-profit charitable cause-driven organization with facilities in North Attleboro, Foxboro, Franklin, and Mansfield. For more information visit

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