|2014 Food Elves (L-R): Project 351 Ambassador Rebekah Redwine, YCIC's Dan Robert, Food Pantry Executive Director Erin Lynch, Head Elf Cameron Piana, Lead Elf Haley Frank|
Food Elves ‘12 Days of Donating’ Kicks off December 1
The Franklin Food Elves are making it easy for you to help your neighbors in need during the “12 Days of Donating” campaign benefitting the Franklin Food Pantry. From December 1 to December 12, volunteer Food Elves will be coming to your neighborhood, or you can donate goods at a local participating business.
The Franklin Food Elves is a charitable community service group made up of more than 75 hard-working middle school and high school students. For the past three years they have partnered with the Franklin Downtown Partnership and local businesses to create one of the Franklin Food Pantry’s most successful collection drives. Last year the “12 Days of Donating” campaign brought in more than $6,700 and 7,300 pounds of goods.
“People have been incredibly generous year after year donating to the Food Elves campaign. What we bring in helps 600 Franklin families that rely on the Food Pantry’s services. We are grateful that our community keeps exceeding our expectations,” says Cameron Piana, Food Elves co-founder.
In December the Food Elves will notify residents about the collection drive in their neighborhood, including information about what items are needed and the collection dates. Residents simply place bags of goods at their mailboxes on designated pickup dates and the Food Elves will do the rest.
In case there’s no elf in your neighborhood, it is still easy and convenient to donate. The group has placed bright red collection bins at participating Franklin Downtown Partnership member businesses. If the Food Elves meet their goal of collecting more than 1,200 pounds of goods, each business listed below has pledged to donate $200.
Bins can be found at these participating locations:
- Auerr, Zajac & Associates, LLC, 29 Dean Ave.
- British Beer Company, 280 Franklin Village Dr.
- DCU, 500 West Central St.
- Dean Bank, 21 Main St.
- Dean College, Campus Center
- Drama Kids of Metro West, 19 Dean Ave. (call for drop off schedule)
- 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.
- RE/MAX Executive Realty, 308 West Central St., Suite E
- Yellin & Hyman, P.C., 693 East Central St., Suite 201
Also donating to the Food Elves campaign are Berry Insurance and Printsmart Office Solutions.
Look for a donation bin at the Holiday Stroll tree lighting ceremony at Dean College on Thursday, December 4, or drop off donations at the Franklin Food Pantry, 43 West Central St., and designate them for the “12 Days of Donating” drive.
This year the Food Elves also are collaborating with the Youth Community Involvement Club at Franklin High School and Project 351 at Horace Mann Middle School. Project 351 is a state-wide community service project and Food Elf volunteer Rebekah Redwine is this year’s Franklin ambassador.
“With a cold winter on the way, family budgets are stretched and more people need the Food Pantry’s services,” says Haley Frank, a lead Food Elf. “We are proud that this great group of students working with local businesses can make a huge, positive impact for Franklin.”
Erin Lynch, Franklin Food Pantry Executive Director, concurs; she cites a recent Lowell Sun story that states National Grid rates on November 1 increased 37 percent over last winter.
“Families who are already struggling will be hit once again when electric rates skyrocket,” says Lynch. “What these students accomplish is vital. The spirit of the Food Elves has captured the hearts of this community. We are so grateful for the amazing support that keeps multiplying through the hard work of these young leaders.”
This year the Food Pantry’s needs include health and hygiene products and non-perishable food items. For more information check the Food Pantry’s website, www.franklinfoodpantry.org/, or call 508-528-3115.
For more information about the Franklin Food Elves and the “12 Days of Donating” campaign, please contact the Food Elves at email@example.com or visit their Facebook page.