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The enterprising and energetic Franklin Food Elves soon will be canvassing neighborhoods all around Franklin collecting goods during the “12 Days of Donating” campaign to benefit the Franklin Food Pantry. From December 1 to December 12, citizens can donate items in their own neighborhoods or at local participating businesses to help neighbors in need.
The Food Elves is a charitable community service group made up of more than 60 students ranging from elementary through high school. For the past two years they have joined forces with the Franklin Downtown Partnership to operate the “12 Days of Donating” campaign with great success. This year the Elves aim to beat last year’s record-breaking collection drive by raising more than $5,700 and 4,200 pounds of goods.
“The people who live and work in Franklin have been so generous that our ’12 Days of Donating’ campaign helped the Food Pantry give out about 17,000 meals to families last winter,” says Cameron Piana, Food Elves co-founder. “This town’s support has been awesome and we hope we can do more this year.”
According to the Food Pantry, about 600 households are registered to use Pantry services. This year’s need will be even greater due to a decrease in SNAP benefits in November. Health and hygiene items are not covered by those benefits and are a particular need.
“The Food Elves truly bring out the magic of the holidays,” says Erin Lynch, Food Pantry director of development. “These amazing kids organize and implement one of the biggest drives of the entire year for the pantry. Their ’12 Days of Donating’ campaign provides thousands of pounds of food for those who need it. At the same time, it fuels this community with what we all need: inspiration, hope and a shining example of the impact young people can make when they work together.”
In early December, Food Elves will notify their neighbors about the collection campaign, including what items can be collected and the collection dates. Residents simply place bags of goods at their mailboxes on the designated pickup day and the Elves will do the rest. Collection dates will be Saturday, December 7, Sunday, December 8, or Saturday, December 14.
In case there’s no Elf in your neighborhood, it is still easy to donate. The Elves have placed bright red collection bins at participating Downtown Partnership member businesses. If the Elves meet their goal of collecting more than 1,200 pounds of goods, each business has pledged to donate $200. There will be a donation bin at the Holiday Stroll tree lighting ceremony at Dean College on Thursday, December 5, or you can drop off donations at the Food Pantry, 43 West Central St., and designate them for the “12 Days of Donating” drive.

Bins can be found at these participating locations:
• 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.
• Murphy Business, 15 East Central St.
• Pour Richard’s Wine & Spirits, 14 Grove St.

“It’s a busy time of year and we’re working with the food elves to make donating easy and convenient,” says Nicole Fortier, Partnership president. “When you’re out shopping or running errands, please stop by one of our local businesses and drop off some goods.”
The Franklin Food Elves may be your neighbors:
Colin and CJ Berg; Gabbie Blood; Malik, Hatim, Suhail and Nasir Brahimi; Julia and Katie Buccella; Cara and Chris Callahan; Sarah Carroll; Austin and Carter Castillo; Avery and Erin Chalk; Allie Champlin; Gillian Cristiano; Karen Cunningham; Jacob and Julia Dextradeur; Ryan Dombroski; Brendan Donaghey; Jamie Dragsbaek; Adam Duval; Kaleigh, Abby, Megan and Maddie Egan; Griffin and John Fenton; Haley Frank; Megan Georges; Alexa Katsaros; Maddie Lacman; Nicolette McCarthy; Kyle Neenan; Connor O’Brian; Cameron Piana; Dylan, Kaitlyn, Lindsey and Sydney Rappa; Ashley and Taylor Reutlinger; Sara Richardson; Aubree, Cassi and Corey Ronan; Abby, Chloe and Cooper Ross; Emily Shea; Jake Signo; Cam and Evan Strouse; Ellie and Katie Teixeira; Ben and Dan Weiss.
For more information about the Franklin Food Elves and the “12 Days of Donating” campaign, please contact the Franklin Downtown Partnership at (774) 571-3109 or [email protected]. For more information about the Franklin Food Pantry and what items are needed, go to their website, www.franklinfoodpantry.org/, or call (508) 528-3115.

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