Franklin Food Pantry Honors Volunteers

Franklin Food Pantry volunteers who received top awards for their service were (left to right) Dan Davis, Diane Daddario, Molly Kilburn, (Erin Lynch, executive director), Sue Strittmatter, Dave Strittmatter, Donna O’Neill and Jeanne Hummell. (Award recipient Kym Pruitt is missing from photo.) Photo courtesy of Sarah Montani Photography.
Issue Date: 
November, 2018
Article Body: 

Franklin Food Pantry volunteers were honored recently with special recognition awards for their extraordinary service.
Eight volunteers were presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which is an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Through a shared mission of inspiring more to answer the call to service, the President’s Volunteer Service Award celebrates the impact we can all make in bettering our communities and our world,” says the organization’s website.
At the annual recognition luncheon honoring volunteers, Erin Lynch, Pantry executive director, was joined by State Representative Jeff Roy and Franklin town officials Jeff Nutting and Jamie Hellen.
“Presidential recognition sets you apart from your peers,” said Roy in presenting the awards. “It is a tremendous honor. Even though you may not seek recognition, your example delivers a powerful message that encourages others to take action.
“We are all involved in this journey called life. Good character reminds us that we must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another. And to you volunteers who gave your measure of devotion to those suffering from food insecurity, we give our heartfelt thanks.”
Sue Strittmatter, executive assistant, received the Gold Award for more than 500 hours of service during the year. Silver Awards for 250 – 499 hours of service were given to Molly Kilburn, information and resource coordinator; Dan Davis, code specialist; and Donna O’Neill, client services and trainer. Bronze Awards for 100 – 249 hours of service were given to Dave Strittmatter, driver; Diane Daddario, inventory; Kym Pruitt, stocker and client services; and Jeanne Hummel, client services and Mobile Pantry.
“We are truly fortunate to have such devoted and compassionate volunteers,” said Lynch. “We count on so many volunteers in our operation of the Pantry. Their dedication is extraordinary, with many giving us a weekly, and sometimes a daily commitment. They make it possible for us to serve the nearly 1,000 individuals who count on us.”
Along with the ultimate honor of presidential recognition, award recipients received a personalized certificate, an official medallion, and a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States.
Volunteers donated nearly 5,000 hours of service to the Pantry last year. They work directly with clients in the Pantry store, pick up food from local grocers and farms and deliver it to the Pantry, stock and organize shelves, and assist with the Weekend Backpack Program and Mobile Pantry. The Pantry relies on more than 60 volunteers each month to fulfill all the operational responsibilities.
Urgent Need for Volunteers!
The Pantry is seeking volunteers to assist with stocking and food pickups from area retail partners. Shifts are available most weekdays from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. If you are interested, please contact Amy Cataldo at [email protected].
About the Franklin Food Pantry
The Franklin Food Pantry offers supplemental food assistance and household necessities to nearly 1,000 individuals. Clients have access to a variety of fresh, frozen and nonperishable foods on monthly scheduled shopping trips as well as Walk-in Fridays. They can visit the Pantry daily for fruits, vegetables, bread and pastry. As a nonprofit organization, the Pantry depends entirely on donations, and receives no town or state funding. Other programs include the Weekend Backpack Program, Carts for Clients, Mobile Pantry, Cooking Matters classes, Healthy Futures Shelf, emergency food bags and holiday meal packages. Visit for more information.