Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Food Elves Press Release

Food Elves, Partnership Collect A Ton of Food

The Franklin Food Elves and the Franklin Downtown Partnership exceeded their goals for the ‘12 Days of Donating’ campaign this month, collecting nearly twice the food and monetary donations they hoped for to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. Together the groups donated 2,035 pounds of non perishable items and $4,266 during the 12 day drive.  

According to Anne Marie Bellavance, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry, these donations will help carry the food pantry through this holiday season and into 2012.  

“Based on our calculations, when we combine the weight and the dollar amount it translates into more than 17,000 meals,” says Bellavance.  “We have seen a cascading effect of community support beginning with this drive as well as help printing 250 cookbooks for our clients.  We are so very grateful to be surrounded by such a giving community.”

The Food Elves expanded their reach this year, placing bins at downtown locations and canvassing neighborhoods throughout town. The result was more than one ton of food and non-perishables collected for the food pantry.

DCU gave a $1,500 donation and Berry Insurance stepped up with a $1,000 gift. In addition to donations by residents, six downtown businesses, including Dean Bank, Dean College, Jane’s Frames, Printsmart Office Supplies, the Franklin Downtown Partnership and Berry Insurance, had pledged $1,200 in matching funds. The grand total of money raised was $4,266.

Franklin Food Elves founders Melissa and Cameron Piana are thrilled with the campaign’s results.

“A few years ago my brother and I started collecting donations in our neighborhood and the idea has grown into a much bigger way for us to make a difference for needy families in Franklin,” says Melissa. “We want to thank all the residents and businesses for the donations and all of our elves for their help. It was a team effort with huge results.”

“It is amazing to me how many people wanted to help us reach our goal,” says Cameron. “We are excited that we exceeded our goal for the Food Pantry and that so many people will benefit from the donations.”

The Franklin Food Elves are led by Head Elves Melissa and Cameron Piana. The elves are Katie Buccella, Kiara Chan, Jess Deaver, Amanda Dickson, Colleen Flaherty, Katie Flaherty, Elise Frank, Haley Frank, Santiago Leal, Kasey Lynch, Jacob Signori, Shannon Takahata and Mely Wu.

“We knew this community would support the elves and the food pantry but this response surpassed all of our expectations,” says Partnership President Nicole Fortier. “The support and positive feedback for this drive has been overwhelming. We are grateful to the residents and businesses of Franklin and to the local papers for helping us spread the word.”

The Franklin Food Elves is a charitable community service group.  The Franklin Downtown Partnership is a non-profit 501(c)3 group working to revitalize downtown Franklin.  For more information about either group please contact the Partnership at (774)571-3109 or downtown.franklin@yahoo.com.  

Food Pantry Executive Director Anne Marie Bellavance, Partnership President Nicole Fortier, and Head Food Elves Cameron and Melissa Piana (left to right) at the Franklin Food Pantry. 

Food Elves Cameron and Melissa Piana deliver donations collected during the '12 Days of Donating' campaign to Food Pantry Executive Director Anne Marie Bellavance (left).