Saturday, June 10, 2023

Spring 2023 News from The Franklin Food Pantry!

Spring 2023

Tina's Take

This has been the most amazing spring so far! The Pantry has finally moved into our new home at 341 West Central St., formerly known as the iconic Edwin's Gift Shop. The building increases our client shopping area and warehouse threefold; we now have the capacity to receive, store, and distribute much more fresh food, household products, and personal care items - and much more safely and efficiently.

As we love to say at The Pantry though, "It's not about the building, it's about what we will do in the building!"

Our new facility has: increased client shopping space; a two-story warehouse for storing and prepping bags for distribution, mobile pantries, and home delivery; offices and meeting space for staff; and a dedicated work space for our volunteers. Intentionally and thoughtfully designed, it is energy-efficient and ADA-compliant. Most importantly, it is a dignified, warm and welcoming space where we hope our neighbors will feel very comfortable and safe shopping and seeking assistance.

There are so many people to thank for making this dream a reality that I can't begin to list them all here. We would, however, like to send a special shout out to MASS Development for a $500,000 Underutilized Properties grant that allowed us to renovate the space and bring it into compliance with current environmental and ADA standards. And a special thanks to the MA Legislature for two years (and counting!) of support through special building grants.

The silent phase of our major gift campaign has been very successful and we are more than 58% of the way to our $3.5 million goal. A heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed so far! We are about to go public and hope that your generosity will continue through the coming year! If you would like to support the new building and the program improvements we are planning to offer, please reach out to Marsha Tait.

If you know someone who may need our services, please do not hesitate to refer them to us by emailing or calling Laura Du.

Knowing that all of us face inflation and increased expenses in our own lives, we are especially grateful for your continued support of our mission and vision.

With much appreciation,

Tina Powderly

Executive Director

New Web Site Launched!

In May, after working with Dionne Katinas and Rich Frongillo at Tinetrix for many months, and with great support from our Campaign Communications Committee, we launched our newly updated web site! There is a lot of easy-to-use information available. Check it out:

New Pantry Staff

Please join us in welcoming new staff members!

Laura Doherty joined The Pantry in April as Associate Director. Laura is a dynamic leader with more than 16 years of experience as the Executive Director of an international nonprofit. She is an innovative and strategic thinker! You can reach Laura here.

Linda Rondeau joined The Pantry in April as Volunteer Coordinator. Linda is a 30-year Franklin resident who first became involved with The Pantry as a volunteer photographer. You can reach Linda here.

The Pantry Partners with the

Franklin Farmers Market

Did you know...

That 10% of Franklin residents face food insecurity? In 2021, 3,284 Franklin residents participated in MassHealth insurance programs while only 1,508 were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Access Program (SNAP). That means that at least 1,776 additional individuals could benefit from SNAP and could shop at The Pantry.

Last summer, The Pantry partnered with the Franklin Farmers Market to offer SNAP at the market. SNAP participants could swipe their benefit debit cards at the Franklin Honey booth and receive tokens that they then used to purchase fresh food from many of the farmers and vendors. Through donated funds, we were able to match the amounts that shoppers debited to make their dollars stretch further.

The Pantry and the Franklin Farmers Market are partnering again this summer to raise awareness about SNAP and to encourage SNAP recipients to shop for fresh locally-produced food at the market. Tokens will once again be available at the Franklin Honey booth. If you would like to donate in support of this program, please reach out to Marsha Tait.

Join us at the Strawberry Stroll!

The Franklin Downtown Partnership is hosting its annual Strawberry Stroll on Friday June 9 Saturday June 10, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

The stroll is a wonderful tradition featuring strawberry shortcakes supplied by Dean Bank and Dean College, music, and more than 95 local vendor booths.

Come see us at The Pantry's table!

Save the Date: La Cantina Fundraiser!

Join us at La Cantina on Wednesday, June 21 from 6:00 - 8:30 pm for live music, good food and libations! Tickets are $30 each and include one free drink. The Sons of Sam Pizza mobile truck will be on site! Proceeds will support our building campaign. Tickets are available here.

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Franklin Food Pantry | 341 West Central St., Franklin, MA 02038 508-528-3115

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