The Franklin Food Pantry is proud to release its Client Needs Assessment, a comprehensive overview of food insecurity in the Franklin community with recommendations to address the crisis. In 2021 and early 2022, the Franklin Food Pantry reviewed expert literature on food insecurity, conducted research among its current neighbors, interviewed community partners and assessed third-party data sources. The report’s findings will drive programming and operational initiatives to reach more households experiencing food insecurity and related challenges.
The Franklin Food Pantry will focus on the following areas to better support its neighbors:
Partnerships, programs and wrap around services
“The biggest take-away of the Community Needs Assessment is that many more people in Franklin are food insecure than we see accessing our services. We have always assumed there are those in the community whom we haven’t reached, but it was difficult to confirm this assumption with only internal data,” said Tina Powderly, executive director for the Franklin Food Pantry. “The report shows that in Franklin, while there are 3,284 people who receive MassHealth, only 1,508 are enrolled in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That translates to 549 to 755 households who could benefit from The Pantry but who do not currently shop with us. We want to reach those individuals and encourage them to visit us. As we support people in becoming more food secure, we must focus on moving out of their immediate anxiety so clients can think long term. We can do that with programming to help progress along a continuum toward stability.”
The report includes answers from a weekly question that staff asked current Pantry clients. The information gathered from the clients’ answers will influence future Pantry programming. To date, the Pantry has increased community garden beds, implemented client service office hours, provided free Covid-19 test kits, offered a hybrid distribution method, and launched a new mobile pantry site. The Pantry continues to evaluate future programming based on feedback from its neighbors.
“This assessment shines a bright light on our neighbors’ struggles and what resources are available to help them,” continued Powderly. “Food insecurity is not just an individual problem. It is a community, state and national problem, and we all must work together to help lessen food insecurity. We are very grateful to our local partners for their participation in this critical research and for their collaboration and hard work addressing the issues outlined in the Community Needs Assessment.”
To read the entire report please visit our website. If you or someone you know needs additional help, please direct them to The Pantry. The Pantry is open on Tuesdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and 5:30 –6:30 pm for drive-up distribution (no appointment needed), and Thursday and Friday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm for appointment-only shopping.
About the Franklin Food Pantry
The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance and household necessities to almost 1,100 individuals per year. The Franklin Food Pantry is not funded by the Town of Franklin. As a private, nonprofit organization, we depend on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other strategic partners. We are grateful for our many partnerships, including that with the Greater Boston Food Bank, that allow us to achieve greater buying power and lower our costs. Donations and grants fund our food purchases, keep our lights on, and put gas in our food truck. Other programs include home delivery, Weekend Backpack Program for Franklin school children in need, mobile pantry, emergency food bags and holiday meal packages. The Pantry is located at 43 W. Central St. in Franklin on Route 140 across from the Franklin Fire Station. Visit www.franklinfoodpantry.org for more information.