Letter From Tina
As I wrap up my first month as the new Executive Director for The Pantry, I want to say hello and share some updates with you. First, I’m overwhelmed with the generosity and spirit of this community. As a Board member, I was of course aware of Franklin’s magnanimity but now having the opportunity to see it daily, I’m in awe by all you do for our neighbors. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
The Pantry is busier than ever as we enter our second year of the “new normal.” In 2020, we saw almost 20% more households than in 2019; 34% of those new faces were children. We met this need in a variety of ways:
- Twice weekly drive- up distribution, providing shelf stable foods, fresh produce and protein options.
- Choice Tables, set up on nice weather days (yes they are coming!) where neighbors select additional hard to come by items.
- Weekly Weekend Backpack Program for all Franklin elementary and middle schools, helping students who face food insecurity over the weekend.
- New home delivery program for neighbors who weren’t able to visit us due to Covid-19.
We are hard at work planning our reimagined spring and summer events like the annual Empty Bowls and Party for the Pantry. Both events will happen – please see below for details!
As a largely volunteer-based organization, we continue to look for creative ways to engage our volunteers safely. We are grateful to our current bag assemblers, distributers, home delivery and mobile pantry drivers and truck unloaders. If you are a volunteer and haven’t been back yet, please know that we can’t wait to have you back and will be in touch as capacity restrictions loosen. And to the many new folks who are interested in volunteering – we hope to open up new opportunities soon as well.
Finally, we continue working on opening our new building at 138 East Central Street. Our architect and engineer are in the midst of designing a Pantry that will positively impact the Franklin community for many years. New building updates are on our website.
If you have any questions or just want to say hi, please do not hesitate to contact me.
With so much thanks and appreciation,
Executive Director, Franklin Food Pantry