Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pantry Announces Dean Bank as Official Bag Sponsor

Dean Bank is now the Pantry’s official shopping bag sponsor, donating hundreds of re-usable shopping bags – a supply that we count on every day. As we approach our busiest time of year, the new supply of bags will be used in a number of ways as we serve our clients. They are used for emergency food packages for new visitors who come to our doors; to package our holiday meals for Thanksgiving; and to give to new clients who register with the Pantry for ongoing assistance. Clients bring in their re-usable bags each time they visit the Pantry. Thank you, Dean Bank, for caring about our community! 
Kevin Goffe, Dean Bank president, presents Erin Lynch, Pantry executive director, with one of the re-usable shopping bags Dean Bank has donated to the Pantry.

Sue Kilcoyne (center), acquisitions coordinator, is thankful for the donated grocery bags and knows they will be much appreciated by clients. Photos courtesy of Laura Du

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Greater Boston Food Bank Grant Helps Build Our Capacity to Offer Fresh Produce

The Franklin Food Pantry has received a $10,000 grant from the Greater Boston Food Bank enabling us to offer larger quantities of fresh and nutritious food to those we serve. The capacity-building grant will be used to fund equipment needs for the mobile pantry, food transportation, and Healthy Futures Market which offers fresh produce weekly from June to October.

"This grant makes a significant impact on our ability to offer fresh fruit and vegetables to our clients," said Erin Lynch, Pantry executive director. "Thanks to the generous support of the Greater Boston Food Bank, our clients will have greater access to nutritious food which many families are unable to afford on a regular basis. We are so thankful for our partnership with the Food Bank."

We owe additional thanks to the many local farms, groups and individuals who help supply our Healthy Futures Market with fresh produce for our clients.

Learn more about the grant in the Milford Daily News article.

The grant will help support our Healthy Futures Market which offers a variety of fresh produce that is locally grown.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Annual Fight Hunger Paintball Fundraiser this Sunday

Come support the pantry and have a great time at our annual Fight Hunger paintball event.
8:30am rain or shine, Sunday July 12th at Fox 4 Paintball in Upton.

Read the Milford Daily News article here

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pantry Recognized for Making an Impact on Community

The Franklin Food Pantry is getting noticed for its efforts to move beyond immediate hunger relief by addressing the root causes of hunger and promoting better nutritional health. The Pantry has received two recognition awards from area organizations: the Red Triangle Award from the Hockomock Area YMCA, and the Community Impact Award from the United Way of Tri-County.

Both organizations recently applauded the Franklin non-profit for going above and beyond in serving the Franklin community, and for its strong impact on the lives of the nearly 600 families it serves.

The Red Triangle Award recognizes the Pantry for its “steadfast dedication and partnership with the Hockomock Area YMCA to meet the changing needs of our community.” Through a partnership with the Hockomock Y, the Pantry created a Healthy Futures Shelf that offers clients access to nutritious food. Nutrition information is posted with food products so that clients can make informed choices to fit their special dietary needs, such as low fat, high protein or gluten-free. In addition, the Pantry works with the YMCA to offer Cooking Matters classes that educate families how to manage their food budgets and prepare healthy meals.

“Working with the Hockomock Area YMCA and Stop & Shop, we began to take preventative measures to help combat high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity,” said Erin Lynch, Franklin Food Pantry executive director. “As part of the Y’s Healthy Futures Initiative, we help our clients make healthier food choices and offer them access to more nutritious food, such as fresh produce and high protein items like chicken.”

The Community Impact Award is given to United Way of Tri-County (UWTC) Community Partners that have changed the lives of the people they serve. The award states that the Franklin Food Pantry, with resources from the UWTC, changed lives by “effectively and innovatively delivering a program that addresses root causes within the areas of Education, Health, Financial Stability or Basic Human Needs.”

Lynch said that thanks to the generous support from organizations such as the United Way of Tri-County and the Hockomock Area YMCA, the Pantry was able to offer programs to empower community members to become more self-sufficient through resources and education. Examples include Cooking Matters which teaches families how to shop smarter and cook delicious, affordable meals; and a Healthy Futures Market that offers fresh produce weekly from June to October. The high cost of fresh fruits and vegetables can be a barrier to wholesome nutrition for many families.

“The money we receive through grants, as well as individual and corporate donations, allows us to go beyond just getting food to people,” said Lynch. “We are able to offer the kind of support and education that can impact our clients for a lifetime.”
Erin Lynch, executive director of the Franklin Food Pantry, is presented with the Red Triangle Award from the Hockomock Area YMCA which recognized the Pantry for its efforts to meet the changing needs of the community. The award was presented by (left to right) Ed Hurley, president of the Hockomock Area YMCA; Bill Chouinard, Bernon Family Branch Board of Managers chairman; and Brian Earley, newly-elected chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hockomock Area YMCA. (Photo courtesy of the Hockomock Area YMCA)
Erin Lynch is shown here with the Pantry's Community Impact Award given by the United Way of Tri-County. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive a Record-breaking Success!

Postal workers delivered 4.5 tons of food to the Franklin Food Pantry on Saturday, May 9, as part of this year's Stamp Out Hunger food drive. The Franklin letter carriers collected more than 9,229 pounds of food! The amount is more than double last year’s record of 4,585 pounds of food that was donated by residents and picked up by postal workers during normal mail rounds.

Stamp Out Hunger is a nationwide effort organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) that provides food to local food banks and pantries that would otherwise be faced with depleted stocks during the summer months. The food drive is the nation’s largest single-day drive, collecting almost 73 million pounds of food last year.

“We were completely overwhelmed by the amount of food and household necessities we received this year,” said Erin Lynch, executive director of the Pantry. “The generosity of this community and the outpouring of support are truly heartwarming. We are so thankful for the hard work of the postal carriers, the kindness of our neighbors, and the help of so many volunteers on that day. Many people in our community were engaged in making this effort such a success.”

Part of the success of this year’s drive was due to yellow Stamp Out Hunger bags that were placed in residents’ mailboxes as a reminder to put out their food donations. The postal workers were thrilled to see the impact that resulted – double the amount of donations over last year.

Postmaster Mike Catalano and wife Lauren came out to the event to show support and lend a hand in unloading the trucks. “We are really honored to be a part of such a worthwhile cause,” said Catalano. “I was so proud to see our trucks arrive overflowing with food donations. The letter carriers gladly worked twice as hard this year to help families in need in Franklin. What a great community to be a part of.” Catalano said that Franklin letter carrier and Stamp Out Hunger coordinator Rich Maloney was instrumental in organizing such a successful drive this year.

During Saturday’s food drive, the fleet of mail trucks was greeted by dozens of Pantry volunteers who unloaded the trucks, weighed the bags, sorted items and stacked them on shelves. The Stamp Out Hunger food drive helps replenish the Pantry’s inventory that has been depleted of its donations received during its busiest time of the year, the November/December holiday season.

Franklin letter carriers delivered more than 4 and a half tons of food collected from community
members to the Franklin Food Pantry on May 9 in the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive. The record
9,229 pounds of food was more than double last year’s tally of 4,585 pounds.
Franklin letter carrier Rich Maloney organized this year’s record-breaking Stamp Out Hunger food drive,
part of a nationwide effort organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Erin Lynch, Pantry executive director, and Mike Catalano, Franklin Postmaster, lend a hand in the Stamp
Out Hunger food drive for the Franklin Food Pantry.