Pantry Fights Food Waste


The Franklin Food Pantry, which provides supplemental food assistance in Franklin, Massachusetts, is honoring Earth Month by raising awareness about food waste and its impact on the community and the planet. In Massachusetts, uneaten food accounts for more than 25 percent of the waste stream, amounting to 1 million tons annually.

Most of this wasted food consists of fresh, nutritious items that could be used to feed people. Preventing good food from being discarded can combat food insecurity and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Pantry is helping reduce food waste by collaborating with local grocery stores and partners including Spoonfuls, a food rescue organization, to acquire food that would otherwise be thrown away. Most rescued food consists of fresh, perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and proteins. These foods are among the most expensive, least accessible, and most sought- after items for individuals facing food insecurity.

“Fresh, healthy food should be in the hands of those who need it, and not in landfills,” said Tina Powderly, Executive Director of the Franklin Food Pantry. " The Franklin Food Pantry is dedicated to reducing waste and forming meaningful partnerships with organizations that strengthen through environmental stewardship.”

The Pantry encourages the community to reduce food waste at home by:

 Planning Ahead– Make a shopping list and only buy what you know you’ll use

 Freezing Food – Save items by freezing them before they spoil

 Trying New Recipes – Enter the names of food items into the Greater Boston Food Bank’s Click N’ Cook tool to create healthy recipes with everyday ingredients

 Donating Food – Perhaps you purchased too much gravy for Thanksgiving, or canned goods for a holiday. Rather than throw the items away, donate the items before they expire.

Food rescue is one of several initiatives undertaken by The Pantry to increase sustainability.

This year, The Pantry will maintain eight garden beds at the Franklin Community Garden, and at-home gardeners are encouraged to grow flowers for Pantry clients. These efforts will benefitthe environment by providing local, fresh items and creating food and habitats for pollinators such as honeybees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other animals. Additionally, The Pantry plans to install a solar panel system, which will help reduce operating costs and have a positive indirect impact on the environment by reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The Franklin Food Pantry, Inc. offers supplemental food assistance, household necessities, and resource referral programs to more than 1,300 individuals per year. The Pantry relies ondonations and grants to purchase items and pay for daily operations, and partnerships with The Greater Boston Food Bank, Spoonfuls, and local grocery stores to achieve greater buying power and lower costs. Programs include In-person Shopping, Curbside Pick-up, Emergency Food Bags, Mobile Pantries, Home Delivery, Kids’ Snack Bags, Weekend Backpacks, Holiday Meal Kits, and the SNAP match at Franklin Farmers Market. The Pantry is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in good standing in Massachusetts, recognized by Charity Navigator as a Four-Star Charity, and awarded GuideStar’s Platinum Transparency ranking. The Pantry is located at 341W Central St. in Franklin, MA on Route 140. Please visit for more information.

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