Towns Respond to Pandemic

Grace Allen
Issue Date: 
April, 2020
Article Body: 

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” – Mr. Rogers
How do you plan for a situation that was unthinkable just a few short weeks ago? COVID-19 has upended our communities, untethered us from our daily routines, and left us with much uncertainty. But in Norfolk and Wrentham, town offices, departments, groups, organizations, and individuals have responded quickly to provide information and assistance for citizens during this unprecedented time. They are the “helpers,” and for that we thank them.
Following is a list of local resources. At Local Town Pages deadline, the information was up to date, but check with the organizations themselves for any changes.
Grab and Go Food Bags: While the schools remain closed, food is available twice a week for tri-town students of all ages. Families should drive up to the gym entrance of the Anna Ware Jackson School (68 Messenger St., Plainville). You will be asked to pop the trunk of your car and a bag of food will be placed there. Mondays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m.
Norfolk Food Pantry: Call 508-528-5862 or email [email protected]. In addition to food items, the pantry is currently in need of hygiene items like shampoo, soap, toilet paper, and paper towels.
Wrentham Food Pantry: Contact 508-384-3110 or email [email protected]. Donations may be dropped off in the donation shed to the left of the pantry. Soups and bags of rice are especially needed at this time. The food pantry is located in the Whiston House behind the Original Congregational Church, 1 East St., Wrentham.
Federated Church of Norfolk: The church is offering support for anyone in need. Email [email protected] or call 508-298-7037 (leave your name, phone number, and a brief description of what you need and someone will return your call). The church is also accepting donations for the town’s food pantry. Drop off donations in the nativity stable on the front lawn. The bin is emptied several times a day.
Norfolk Senior Center: The center is closed but staff is available during normal business hours to answer questions or direct you to resources. Contact the director, Sherry Norman, at 508-528-4430 or email [email protected].
Wrentham Senior Center: The center is closed but staff is available during normal business hours to answer questions or direct you to resources. Meals on Wheels through HESSCO Elder Services will continue. Transportation to Stop and Shop in Plainville is available for a limited number of at-risk seniors without family or car. Contact the Council on Aging at 508-384-5425 or email the director, Janet Angelico, at [email protected].
Wrentham Public Health Nurses: Town Hall is closed to the public, but the nurses are available by phone. Call the nurses’ office at 508-384-5485 or email [email protected] with any questions or needs. Volunteers are available through the office to shop and drop off necessary items for residents who can’t get out. Home visits are suspended unless absolutely necessary and all clinics are cancelled.
Norfolk Town Offices: The building and all offices are closed to the public but staff will be available via phone and email. Essential business requiring an in-person transaction must be set up by appointment. Non-essential meetings are cancelled. Visit for phone numbers and links to departments. Town Administrator Blythe Robinson will regularly post COVID-19 updates on the website.
Norfolk Police Department: In person visits are discouraged unless there’s an emergency. Call the business line at 508-528-3206 for situations that can be resolved over the phone and continue to use 911 for all emergencies and medical calls.
Wrentham Town Offices: The building and all offices are closed to the public but staff will be available for all business activities via phone and email. Call 508-384-5400 or visit for links to all departments. Municipal meetings will move to remote meetings if held.
Public Safety Building/Wrentham Police: The main lobby/access to the building is closed to the public and please no visitors unless there is an emergency. Use the button in the foyer to connect with the communications center and ask to speak to an officer. Continue to use 911 for all emergencies and medical calls.

Norfolk Helping Hands: Facebook group created to help provide resources for families and senior citizens. Email [email protected] for more information, or contact the following town officials, who will direct you: Dr. Ingrid Allardi, Superintendent of Norfolk Public Schools ([email protected]); Blythe Robinson, Norfolk Town Administrator ([email protected], 508-528-1225); Kevin Kalkut, Norfolk Select Board ([email protected], 508-440-2855); and Rep. Shawn Dooley ([email protected], 617-722-2810).
Pet Food Drive in Norfolk: Animal Control Officer Hillary Cohen, in conjunction with Norfolk Helping Hands, is collecting non-prescription pet food. Drop off food in the bin outside the Fire Station. Food must be unopened. Officer Cohen will distribute the pet food to people in need for their pets. Contact her at 508-528-3232 or by email at [email protected].
Libraries: Both Norfolk and Wrentham libraries remain closed, but online access to reading material and other resources are available. Temporary library cards may also be arranged. Visit and
Churches: Local churches are offering online services. Visit your church’s website for details. At press time, this website was just coming online. Created by the people behind Norfolk’s Community Supper, a bi-monthly free community dinner, the website will list local resources as well as a place to ask for assistance.