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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Franklin Food Pantry Runs May 18th Dinner and Silent Auction

By Angie Fitton
“Somewhere, someone’s bowl is empty.” This quote hits home for 514 households, over 1100 people, in Franklin, approximately 10% of the town’s population. These people must use the Franklin Food Pantry to help fill their bowls. This is a reality of which we should all be aware. 
Thursday, May 18th, is a night to mark on your calendar if you’d like to make a difference in the lives of those who experience food insecurities. The Empty Bowls dinner and silent auction will be held in the cafeteria of the Franklin High School from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Empty Bowls is a nationwide movement that Franklin learned of many years ago from a neighboring food pantry. The movement itself began in 1990 in a Michigan High School. 
Tina Powderly, the Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry, expresses admiration and thanks to Brenna Johnson, a teacher at Franklin High School who dedicates much of her time to the Empty Bowls movement. Since the inception of Empty Bowls in Franklin, Johnson has taken the reins, guiding future leaders after school all year long. The movement has become so significant in the school that participation after school occurs by class. Powderly emphasizes, “We are extremely grateful to Brenna for her professionalism, dedication and leadership in growing this movement.” The Franklin Cultural Council is also an integral part of this program at the high school. “They are a consistent supporter of Empty Bowls and without them, this wouldn’t be possible,” Tina says. 
Powderly states, “This event is near and dear to our hearts.” She continues, “None of us know who is facing food insecurity. The person beside you at the gas station could have this invisible need, going home to an empty bowl themselves.” The Empty Bowls event educates the communi-ty and youth about food insecurities and how important it is to help when possible. During the event, a simple meal of soup and bread is served in the bowls made by the high school students under Johnson’s supervision, and there is a silent auction as well. This year State Representative Jeff Roy donated a piece of pottery that he personally made. 
Empty Bowls is a signature event of the Franklin Food Pantry. Though they hold events through-out the year, this one is truly focused on raising awareness. Powderly shared the story of a woman in town who has been attending Empty Bowls since its first year. This woman keeps every bowl she’s brought home empty as a reminder of those who have a hard time putting food on the table. She helps the Franklin Food Pantry regularly. 

“While food donations are always welcome, monetary donations go much farther because the food pantry is able to purchase not only non perishable items, but fresh and frozen food as well, at a tax-free and highly discounted rate from the Greater Boston Food Bank,” according to Powderly. Many donors participate in The Pantry’s ‘Give Every Month’ program. Because of their generosity and regularity, the Franklin Food Pantry has the ability to budget accordingly. No one is turned away from the Franklin Food Pantry. Even if you’re not a resident of town, you will leave with a bag of food after going through the registration packet with a member of the organization. 90% of all monetary donations go towards the food and services to help clients of the food pantry.
Inflation has hit the Franklin Food Pantry as hard as it has hit everyone else. In July of last year, they were able to feed each client for approximately $30. In December, that price jumped to $70 per client. Donations are needed now more than ever. Donations to the Franklin Food Pantry can be made at This is also where you are able to purchase tickets to the Empty Bowls dinner and silent auction. If you have any questions and would like to speak with someone, the number to the food pantry is (508) 528-3115.