Residents of the Town of Franklin and the former Treadwell School District have for many years been able to rely upon the Treadwell Food Bank for help in feeding their families during times of crisis. Conceived as an outreach project by the Treadwell United Methodist Church Crisis Relief Committee in the 1980s, the Treadwell Food Bank has continued to operate out of the basement of the church as an independent food bank, staffed by community volunteers and funded solely by donations. Individuals, community groups, local businesses, the United States Postal Service, and food drives all provide support.
The food bank is open every Friday afternoon. Any area family in need has been welcome to visit once per month and receive three shopping bags filled with canned goods, dry goods, paper products, personal care products, two meats, a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, loaf of bread, and one pound of margarine. Participants are asked to complete a short form to document their visit, and donors to the food bank receive a thank you note with verification of donation value as a tax record.
Over the years many volunteers have generously donated their time, energy, and money to operate the food bank. Leadership has been provided by Donna Briggs, Margaret Hazlett, Nancy Barnes, Beulah Hussey, Irma Hall, and Stella Sprague, with numerous community volunteers helping to keep the food bank door open
It now is time to pass the mantle. The Treadwell Food Bank was relocated to the Village of Franklin and will become the Greater Franklin Food Pantry. The Walter Rich Charitable Foundation has generously offered space for the pantry in the Rich Farmhouse Community Center at 574 Main Street, Franklin. This centrally located site has ample space for food storage shelving, easy parking, handicap access, and is highly visible from Route 357.
Meg Shivers has agreed to become the coordinator for the Greater Franklin Food Pantry. Naomi Lima has agreed to be treasurer and manage the volunteer coverage on open days. Several new volunteers have been trained by Stella to join the current volunteers in staffing the pantry during open hours, and an eight-member steering committee of local volunteers has been set up to guide the pantry while opportunities to provide additional services or products are examined
The pantry is hoping to expand the hours of operation at the new location to include some hours outside of the normal workday to accommodate people with jobs. Perhaps open later Friday afternoons, Saturday morning, or even before the Farmers’ Market on Sunday. The possibility of joining the county-wide food bank to gain access to county food distribution and services will be investigated. Other options will be explored as they arise. Expanding the hours of operation or the services provided will be contingent upon volunteers willing to work those hours. The pantry would be grateful for any help provided.
The pantry relocated to Franklin in mid-June and had its first open hours in the new location at 574 Main Street on Friday, June 19th, from 2pm to 4pm.
If you are interested in helping the food pantry in any capacity, please contact Don Hebbard.
The website is “coming soon” but should be ready shortly: