Saturday, June 19, 2021

Franklin Food Pantry News - June 2021


Relieving hunger. Nourishing lives.

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June." Lucy Maud Montgomery

Tina's Take

What's going on at the Pantry??

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Happy June! The days are growing longer, the sun is finally coming out and we are seeing the light at the end of a very long tunnel. This year certainly brought out the best in our community and we are so grateful to all of you for your support. Through all of the storms, cloudy days and now sunshine, The Pantry has been there for our neighbors and will continue to serve our community.

During the past year we changed the way we served our neighbors without changing what we did: providing healthy food and support. Learn what happened at The Pantry during the Covid-19 Pandemic:

What changed?

When our doors had to physically close to our neighbors, we rapidly switched to a twice a week curbside pick-up. Our neighbors received a choice of three proteins, fresh produce, (often from Franklin's own community gardens,) dairy, a bag of shelf stable goods and a special bag of food designed just for kids.

  • Instead of monthly scheduled times, neighbors could come weekly.
  • We added new programs such as Home Delivery and kids bags for families. 
  • We developed new supply chain methods, providing over 30% more fruits and vegetables to our neighbors despite discontinuation of many partner programs. 
  • We reinvented roles for our volunteers such as filling bags, calling neighbors, delivering to homes and contactless distribution, keeping volunteers safe.
  • We shifted our larger fundraisers to virtual events, including a reimagined Party for The Pantry, an online Empty Bowls event and auction as well as a virtual Turkey Trot.

What stayed the same?

  • We continued to see the spirit of our community shine through in support of our neighbors - your generosity was unparalleled!
  • We still connected with our neighbors to not only provide food but to offer support or just share a friendly face (even if it was masked).
  • We delivered weekend backpacks to 57 Franklin school children weekly to give them meals and snacks over the weekend.
  • We purchased a new building at 138 East Central Street, but for now we are staying at our current location while we finalize plans and launch our Capital Campaign.
  • We held our annual Thanksgiving and December holiday distribution serving over 200 hundred families for each.
  • We undertook strategic visioning and shifted staff and Board members into positions that capitalized on their expertise while addressing the changing needs of our community. While there may be different titles with the names, the same dedicated people are running The Pantry and working hard for our neighbors.
  • The need for The Pantry did not change – it grew. Compared to 2019, we served 18% more households, with a 36% increase in number of children served.

While we don't always know what will happen, this year taught us one thing: the need for compassion will never change. Thank you for sharing your compassion at unprecedented levels this year. We are honored to work with you every day to assist our neighbors. 

Have a wonderful summer!

Tina Powderly

Executive Director, Franklin Food Pantry


Empty Bowls!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our reimagined Empty Bowls event on June 10 at the Franklin High School. This event was the product of months of work by the FHS Empty Bowls club led by Brenna Johnson. Club members created one of kind ceramic bowls to symbolize that somewhere, someone's bowl is empty. Thank you to our sponsors: Grove Street Auto Repair, QRGA and Times Up, Inc. for their support of this event. Club members, alumni and community members also made beautiful unique items for the online auction. The auction is still open and is running until June 21. Take a look and bid today!

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Community Gardens

Thanks to Jen Kuse and her 17 volunteers, our neighbors receive bags of freshly picked organic vegetables straight from our community gardens! Already this year our neighbors have had fresh butter lettuce, swiss chard, romaine, spinach, chives and more. We can't wait to see what comes next! Thank you to everyone who makes this program a success including the Franklin Federated Church, New England Chapel, Kim Mu Chow for their bed donations and to NETA for having a volunteer day to clean up the butterfly garden. 

Bid on the auction! 

Annual Appeal

Watch your mailboxes because this year's annual appeal is on its way to you. The annual appeal highlights the many ways the community helped us during the Pandemic, and more importantly introduces you to some of the neighbors you helped. Visit our website to read the full annual appeal or make a donation.

Donate to our Annual Appeal

Holiday Distribution

We are very excited to add an extra holiday distribution this year to help our neighbors celebrate July 4th!  Neighbors will receive a bag full of items for a traditional cookout and fun goodies sure to add a smile. Special thanks to Shaw's, The Daddario/Jardine family and MRN for their donations to the bags. 

Project Envoy

After launching their successful restaurant program, Project Envoy returns this summer to the Franklin Farmers Market. Look for their table sharing facts about food insecurity, The Franklin Food Pantry and recipes for cooking with fresh vegetables. They will also collect donations that go directly to The Franklin Food Pantry. Project Envoy is made up of members from The Interfaith Council Food Security Team representing: St. Mary's Parish, St. John's Episcopal, Temple Etz Chaim, the First Universalist Society in Franklin, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, and the Franklin Federated Church.

Our facility is generously donated by Rockland Trust. We are located at 43 West Central Street, Franklin MA, on Route 140 in the Rockland Trust parking lot, across the street from the fire station.

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Franklin Food Panty | 43 WEST CENTRAL STREET, Franklin, MA 02038

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