The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The School Newspaper of Franklin High School


The Franklin Food Pantry: What is Food Insecurity?

In Norfolk County, one in eighteen people are food insecure. The Franklin Food Pantry has had a tremendous influence in our community, providing meals to support families in need. 

Catherine Troutman, the communications manager at the Pantry, says, “We are trying to really empower people to get involved.” 

What does it mean to be food insecure?

Being food insecure implies that the person or family does not know where their next meal is coming from or they don’t have the means to properly intake nutritious food. 

The Pantry’s supply of fresh produce. (Linda Rondeau Photography)


“There is a stigma attached to food insecurity, but it can happen to anybody,” explains Troutman. “You are a family, and you are doing fine, but then somebody loses a job, someone gets into a car accident, or someone has a health concern.” 

“It is very scary to think that you’re not going to be able to put food on the table for your family.” 

Breaking down the stigma about food insecurity and emphasizing that there is nothing to be ashamed of is vital to the Pantry’s mission. 

Anybody can be food insecure.” Troutman continues to highlight. “One of the things that is really telling is when you have to choose between putting food on your table and paying electric bills. You have to choose between putting gas in your tank so you can get to work or feeding your child.”

Troutman stresses that there are many long-term consequences of food insecurity. “It affects so many people on so many different levels. It affects everything in our society.” 

One of the most affected groups of people by food insecurity is students. Students are unable to focus at school when they are hungry. “It affects their education. It affects their ability to learn.  Add that on top of all the other social situations that are going on in high school and middle school…” Troutman explains.

The Franklin Food Pantry has recently moved to a new building located at 341 W Central Street! The new building has been particularly helpful by bringing more awareness to the cause and attention to the Pantry. “We are out here!” says Troutman when speaking about how incredible it is to be in the center of town, where people are more aware of the services that are available to them.

Inside the new Franklin Food Pantry building, which is located at 341 W Central St. (Linda Rondeau Photography)

However, “a lot of people don’t realize the Pantry is a nonprofit. The town of Franklin does not fund us,” states Troutman. The Franklin Food Pantry is encouraging the community to reach out to legislators to stress the importance of funding programs that provide food services to individuals. 

“It’s really a testament to the town that we have this because it was a grassroots effort, and it speaks to what people can do when they come together.”

During COVID, the government was providing additional benefits (SNAP benefits) to help people address their needs in difficult times. Unfortunately, “SNAP benefits have recently been rolled back,” says Troutman. “And we are seeing that here.” 

The Franklin Food Pantry’s client population went up 35% from last August to this August. “We do think it has something to do with where our position is [in the new building] – we are front and center, but it does have a lot to do with the SNAP benefits as well,” explains Troutman. 

Troutman continues to emphasize that the Town of Franklin has “showed us that we can really pivot when we need to, to make sure we are addressing the community’s needs.”

So, how can you help? How can you get involved? 

More information about the Food Elves campaign!

This time of year, the Franklin Food Pantry hosts the Food Elves campaign for high school and middle school students. Students can gain up to 12 hours of community service hours through this campaign. Food Elves brings in the most money to the Pantry every year! 

Participants of this program will distribute flyers and purple envelopes in their neighborhoods to collect monetary donations. To participate, you will have to register for in-person fundraising by November 8 or online fundraising by November 30. There is more information on the Franklin Food Pantry website.

In addition, you can volunteer anytime! Applications for volunteering opportunities are on the website. 

If you are busy but still want to help and get involved, you can always donate to the Franklin Food Pantry!