Monday, March 28, 2016

Tickets on Sale Now for the 1st Annual Empty Bowls Dinner!

The Franklin Food Pantry and the Franklin High School Empty Bowls Club have joined forces to co-host the 1st Annual Empty Bowls Dinner on Wednesday, April 27 from 6 – 8 p.m. in the Franklin High School cafeteria. The event, which includes a simple meal of soup and bread, is meant to remind guests of the many “empty bowls” that exist in the lives of those who experience hunger.

Attendees will choose a hand-painted, ceramic bowl to take home as a reminder that “somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty.” A silent auction will feature select pieces that have been created and painted by members of the FHS Empty Bowls Club, and local youth, adult and corporate groups. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Franklin Food Pantry and will be used to fight hunger locally.
These ceramic bowls, made by students in the Empty Bowls Club at Franklin High School, will be given to guests at the 1st Annual Empty Bowls Dinner on April 27.
“The Empty Bowls Dinner will bring together members of our community who are working together to fight hunger,” says Erin Lynch, executive director of the Franklin Food Pantry. “We hope it will be a powerful reminder of the many people who struggle to put enough food on the table. We are thrilled to partner with the Franklin High School Empty Bowls Club to address the vital issue of hunger. We look forward to attracting all ages at this family-friendly event.”

Students in the Empty Bowls Club have been making ceramic bowls throughout the year to be used at the dinner. “Our students are excited to be part of such a meaningful effort,” said Brenna Johnson, FHS art teacher and instructor for the Empty Bowls Club. “It is rewarding for them to use their creativity to contribute to such a worthy cause. The true impact of their hard work will be felt on the night of our big event.”

Tickets must be bought in advance and can be purchased at the Franklin Food Pantry. Seating is limited so tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children and students. Payment must be made in cash or checks payable to the Franklin Food Pantry. The Pantry will hold “Box Office Hours” to sell tickets at its 43 W. Central Street location (on Route 140 across from the Franklin Fire Station) during the following times:  

March 31, 5-7 pm
April 4, 11 am – 1 pm
April 5, 4 – 6 pm
April 7, 5 – 7 pm
April 11, 11 am – 1 pm
April 12, 4 – 6 pm
April 14, 5 – 7 pm
April 19, 4 – 6 pm
April 21, 5 – 7 pm

Empty Bowls is an international grass roots effort to fight hunger and raise funds to support local pantries. The Franklin Food Pantry and the FHS Empty Bowls Club work together to support the cause locally. The ceramic bowls are created throughout the year by the Empty Bowls Club and various corporate and community groups organized by the Pantry through its Empty Bowls Project. For more information, or to arrange for your group to help make bowls for the dinner event, visit Empty Bowls Project or call 508-528-3115.
Local teenagers participated in the Pantry's Empty Bowls Project to paint bowls  for the 1st Annual Empty Bowls Dinner.

 This ceramic bowl is just one example of the pieces that will be available through the silent auction.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Franklin Food Elves Bring in Record Donations – Again!

The Franklin Food Elves did it again! The final donation numbers are in, and the Elves are pleased to announce that the “12 Days of Donating” Campaign has collected more than four tons (or 8,001 pounds) of goods, and more than $11,000 for the Franklin Food Pantry.

These numbers beat last year’s record totals by more than 1,500 pounds of food, and nearly $3,000. The success was due to the hard work of more than 120 Food Elves, along with tremendous support from the community and local businesses. The Food Elves, increasing by 35 elves this year, has grown every year in popularity among local elementary, middle and high school students.
As the Food Elves canvassed local neighborhoods for food and monetary donations, Franklin businesses did their part by placing donation bins at their locations and pledging cash donations to support the cause. Those businesses included Chestnut Dental Associates, DCU, Dean Bank, Dean College, Emma’s Quilt Cupboard, Franklin Downtown Partnership Office, Jane’s Frames, Keefe Insurance Agency, Murphy Business, Pour Richard’s Wine & Spirits, SELF Aesthetics and Therapeutic Specialists, Medical Spa and The Adirondack Club.

“We are overwhelmed by the amount of support we received this year from the Franklin Food Elves, member businesses of the Franklin Downtown Partnership, and our community,” said Erin Lynch, executive director of the Franklin Food Pantry. “Thanks to the hard work of the Food Elves, we will be able to continue helping our families who are struggling to put food on their tables.”

For the first time, the Food Elves gave residents the option of making monetary donations in addition to, or in lieu of, food. Monetary gifts allow the Pantry to supplement food donations with more nutritious and fresh food, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats.

“The response was incredible,” said Lynch. “Not only did we break all records in the amount of food we received, we are able to supplement the nonperishable donations with fresh, protein-rich and nutritious foods. We could not be more grateful.”
For more information about the Food Elves and the "12 Days of Donating" Campaign, please contact the Food Elves at

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Food Elves “12 Days of Donating” Marks 10 Years of Giving to Franklin Food Pantry

Photo courtesy of the Franklin Downtown Partnership

The Franklin Food Elves and the Downtown Partnership launched the “12 Days of Donating” campaign to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry on December 1. This year’s collection drive marks 10 years that the Food Elves have helped neighbors in need during the holiday season.
The Food Elves were created in 2006 when Melissa and Cameron Piana began collecting donations in a wagon in their neighborhood. Last year more than 90 school-aged elves and 14 local businesses raised more than three tons (7,020 pounds) of goods and $8,500 for the Food Pantry. This year the Pantry acquired additional warehouse space to accommodate the expected donations.

“We are looking forward to building on the success the Food Elves have had, and this year we hope to raise more money. The Food Pantry can buy a lot with those funds, and we hope to surpass last year’s dollar totals,” says Ellie Teixeira, lead Food Elf.

The Franklin Food Elves is a charitable community service group comprised of more than 100 dedicated elementary, middle and high school students. This will be the fifth year the elves have partnered with local businesses to create one of the Franklin Food Pantry’s most successful collection drives. Each year the 12 Days campaign brings in food and cash to help sustain the pantry’s 600 client families through the winter.

The Food Elves notify their neighbors about collection dates, instructions and items needed. The elves make it easy to donate; residents simply place bags of goods at their mailboxes on designated dates, and the elves pick up and deliver the goods to the Pantry. If residents prefer to make a monetary donation, Food Elves captains will also give instructions on how funds will be handled in their neighborhood.

“The Pantry has some lean months after the holidays, when end-of-year giving subsides and food drives happen less frequently,” says Erin Lynch, executive director of the Franklin Food Pantry.

“We count on the Food Elves to bring in the donations that help carry us through the winter months, a time when families who are struggling to put food on their tables face even harder times because of higher energy costs. We are so grateful for the hard work of the Food Elves and the gifts they bring to us,” she adds.

According to Lynch, while nonperishable food donations are still needed and appreciated, she is hoping that more people make monetary donations. “It gives us greater flexibility to provide for our clients. We can purchase food from the Greater Boston Food Bank at a fraction of what it costs in the grocery store. We are able to supplement food donations with more nutritious and fresh food, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats.”

In case there’s no Food Elf in your neighborhood, it is still easy and convenient to donate. Participating Franklin Downtown Partnership member businesses all across town will have red collection bins at their locations. If the Food Elves meet their goal of collecting more than 1,200 pounds of goods, each business has pledged to donate at least $200 to the 12 Days of Donating drive.

Bins can be found at these participating locations:
  • Chestnut Dental Associates, 38 Pond St.
  • DCU, 500 West Central St.
  • Dean Bank, 21 Main St.
  • Dean College, Campus Center
  • Emma's Quilt Cupboard, 12 Main St.
  • Franklin Downtown Partnership Office, 9 East Central St.
  • Jane's Frames, 11 East Central St.
  • Keefe Insurance Agency, 51 West Central St.
  • Murphy Business, 15 East Central St.
  • Pour Richard's Wine & Spirits, 14 Grove St.
  • The Adirondack Club, 800 Chestnut St.
A red collection bin will also be set up at the Holiday Stroll tree lighting ceremony at Dean College on Thursday, December 3, at 4 p.m. Event goers can drop off donations there, or at the Food Pantry, 43 W. Central St. Please designate donations made at the Pantry as Food Elves.

The Food Pantry's greatest needs currently are coffee, canned fruit, jelly in plastic bottles, aluminum foil and shampoo. To make an online donation in honor of the Food Elves, click here. Please mention Food Elves in the donation form's acknowledgment box. For more information, call 508-528-3115.
Any student interested in becoming a Food Elf should contact Ellie Teixeira at

To learn more about the Franklin Food Elves and the “12 Days of Donating” campaign, please contact the Food Elves at or visit their Facebook page. Information can also be found at and on the FDP’s Facebook page.





Sunday, November 15, 2015

And the Winner Is...

The winning ticket for the Patriots raffle is #096! The winner will be going to the Patriots vs. Bills game on November 23 at Gillette Stadium! Congratulations on winning the game package that includes 5 club level seats and a parking pass.

Special thanks goes to Bob and Tricia Flynn, owners of Team Fitness/CrossFit Franklin, for their generous donation of the game package, a $3,000 value. ALL of the more than $10,000 raised from raffle ticket sales goes directly to the Pantry.

“We are so grateful to the Flynns and Team Fitness for making this possible,” said Erin Lynch, executive director of the Franklin Food Pantry. “We would not have been this successful without the dedicated team of Pantry board members, volunteers and staff who worked hard at getting the word out and selling tickets.”

“And we are especially thankful to each and every person who purchased a raffle ticket. Every contribution goes a long way to help us serve our community.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

Turkey Trot Promises Great Fun for a Good Cause – Join Us!

It’s a worthwhile price to pay when you register for the annual Turkey Trot Family 5K Fun Run and Walk to be held Thanksgiving morning. The registration fee of $20, or 20 nonperishable food items, will go directly to the Franklin Food Pantry, keeping donations local to help those in need during this holiday season.

Sponsored by Feed the Need, the event begins and ends at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church) at 91 Jordan Road in Franklin. The race, open to runners and walkers of all ages, is a great opportunity for the entire family to get out and exercise together before their traditional Thanksgiving feast. And, there’s the added benefit of helping to relieve hunger in the community.

“We are inspired by the great turnout for the Franklin race,” said Erin Lynch, executive director for the Franklin Food Pantry. “Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to truly appreciate what they have, but also an occasion to think of others who are struggling to put food on their tables. The Turkey Trot rallies our community to give back and help protect others from the threat of hunger. We are grateful to Feed the Need for spearheading the race and raising awareness about our own need in Franklin.”

The November 26 race will begin at 8 a.m. To participate in the Turkey Trot, you can pre-register online at; or sign up the day of the race from 7 – 8 a.m., or 7 – 9 p.m. the night before, at the LDS Church. The first 100 race participants to register Wednesday night will receive race t-shirts. For those interested in making food donations instead of the $20 registration fee, the Pantry is in most need of tuna, canned fruit, and health and hygiene products such as deodorant.

For more information, call 508-520-9864.

The entire Kilburn family of Franklin was among the almost 400 individuals who participated in last year’s Turkey Trot. They will be trotting again this year in support of the Franklin Food Pantry. Pictured, left to right, are Molly (client service ace for the Pantry), Chris, Maddy, Bridget, Tom, Nate, and family friend Niamh O’Sullivan of Cumberland, RI.

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