Franklin Township Group Provides Food Assistance [AUDIO]
Since 1975, the Franklin Township Food Bank has offered help to residents in need by offering emergency food assistance.
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The group incorporated in 1982 with a mission of enhancing the quality of life for these people in need in an atmosphere of dignity and respect.
"What we are is really a food pantry," Executive Director Frank Hasner explained. "We provide folks with some groceries to help them along with their expenses."
Hasner says he's seen a dramatic climb in the amount of residents that need help with their expenses. In just 10 years, the amount of packages that the food bank has served jumped from 2800 to over 9000 last year.
"In these economic times, we want to make sure that one of the worries people don't have is food," he said.
Residents can come by for a package of groceries, which are consistent, once a month plus three additional visits throughout the year for particularly tough stretches.
"If you're just looking for a standard package and you need it in Franklin Township, you can come in and we'll help you out. We do not turn anybody away."
Funding for the group comes from a variety of streams, including donations, fundraisers, and grants.
They recently completed their 24th annual Tour de Franklin, which is a community bike-a-thon event. Over 700 people turned out for the ride, which raised more than $70,000 that will go towards programs and services.
The Franklin Township Food Bank is also set to begin doling out their Children's Summer Food Packages, which serve about 1000 school age children during the summer.
Preparations are underway for their next big event, CanalFest, which is a fall festival held on the historic Delaware and Raritan Canal in East Millstone. That takes place on October 19th.
"We want to make sure that everybody has enough to eat. There's a lot of other things that people can spend money on if they don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from," Hasner said.
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