FRANKLIN - After a two-year absence, Stamp Out Hunger has returned to Franklin. On Saturday, May 14, Franklin letter carriers will pick up donated goods from town residents at their mailboxes and deliver them to the Franklin Food Pantry. The Franklin Food Pantry is appealing to the community for some very specific items in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive:
Assorted Cereal Boxes 10oz - 20oz
Coffee - Cans or Bags 12oz - 16oz.
Body / Hand Lotion 8oz- 16oz
Foil / Plastic Wrap/ Ziplock Baggies
“In our current building, we have very limited space to store a surplus of items,” said Tina Powderly, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry. “That’s why we are asking the community for these very specific items, as well as no expired food. We are so appreciative of all the donations we receive, but given our space constraints, we hope to focus donations on items currently in highest need.”
The Pantry is emphasizing its request to please check expiration dates on every item donated. Processing expired items is resource intensive. Volunteers must check every donated item’s expiration dates. The expired food must be sorted separately and then disposed of, which costs the Pantry time and money. According to Powderly, “We plan for 10,000 pounds of food during Stamp Out Hunger. Even with the 100 volunteers we hope to have over the entire day, each volunteer will need to handle one item each minute to keep up. It’s an incredible amount of work, and expired items slow down the process, create waste, and lead to volunteer burnout. Checking donated food for expired items would be a huge help to us, and much appreciated by our hard-working volunteers.”
Volunteers are still needed for the event. If anyone is interested, they can sign up online here.
Franklin residents can donate to the food drive by leaving a bag of non-perishable food and hygiene items where their letter carrier normally delivers their mail on Saturday, May 14. Letter carriers will pick up the bags during their normal mail rounds and will deliver the food to the Franklin Food Pantry.
“We are so thankful to the letter carriers, and a supportive community, for helping us acquire the items that are most needed,” said Powderly. “We have almost 1,100 individuals who count on us for food and supplies on a regular basis. We could not provide for them without the support of such a generous community.” In lieu of donating goods, individuals who want to support the Pantry can donate online. “Monetary donations give us the flexibility to purchase what we need, when we need it,” said Powderly. “We can also purchase fresh food such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products to supplement the canned and boxed food donations. We count on both types of donations to provide a wholesome and balanced inventory of products for our neighbors.”
For more information on the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, visit https://www.nalc.org/community-service/food-drive . The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive 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.
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