Franklin Food Pantry working to ensure Robertson County is a hunger-free community

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 7:54 PM CST
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FRANKLIN, Texas (KBTX) -Since 1996, the Franklin Food Pantry and Robertson County Care Inc. have been a source of food and hope for the Franklin and Robertson County communities.

The pantry began in a church kitchen, and as the needs of the community grew, so did the food pantry. In 1998 the Franklin Food Pantry moved into a donated trailer, and in 2017 the nonprofit moved into a new facility.

A tornado damaged the food pantry in 2019, but they never missed a beat. Since then, they have rebuilt the facility and continue to be a source of nourishment and encouragement for the community.

According to a report from the USDA, Texas is one of nine states whose food insecurity rate is higher than the national average. Studies show that 1 in 8 Texans or 13% of Texas households experiences food insecurity. With the pandemic, along with food shortages and inflation, the need is even greater.

Cheryl and Jerry Redden manage the Franklin Food Pantry. They say more than 150 families a month rely on the pantry to help put food on the table. During the fall, they say that number doubles.

“We now serve around a hundred families throughout the year. That translates to 200 or more individuals that we serve on a regular basis,” said Cheryl. “However, in the fall, like starting in October, November, December especially, our rolls grow considerably because many of our people around here depend on seasonal type jobs, and when those jobs play out, then they are in need of our help.

“So there we go to about 150 to 175 families, which is over 300 people per month throughout the winter months,” said Cheryl.


Posted by Robertson County Care Inc. on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Donations from the KBTX Food for Families Food Drive will help keep the Robertson County community fed for months.

“The Food for Families Food drive is very important because it helps replenish our stock of food, especially in this time of the year when our population of need goes up considerably,” said Cheryl. “So it’s very important to our families that we serve that we have the extra food for them.”

When it comes to taking care of those in need, the Franklin Food Pantry relies on community partners like the Brazos Valley Food Bank, Local Businesses like the local supermarket, churches, and the Franklin Independent School District. Students from Franklin ISD spend a lot of time volunteering at the food pantry and hosting food drives at school.

“Every year, the student council gets together, and they have a food drive to where they just bring canned goods, and we all get together to help donate cans to the food pantry,” said Alyssa Jeske Franklin High School Student Council President. “It gives the students the opportunity to get involved with something in the community. We actually weren’t able to do it last year because of COVID, but this year I believe the students stepped up to give the food pantry what they need.”

“The Franklin School District always goes into the community and helps wherever we’re needed,” said Ada Hadley Rampy, Franklin High School Student Council Vice-President. " So this year we did our can food drive, and we do it every year, and all the students bring in all the cans they can, and we go, and we put it on the shelves, so Franklin has always been there to help whenever it’s needed to.”

FHS Student Council delivered the high schools can food donation to the Franklin Food Pantry. Thank you to everyone who brought cans.

Posted by Franklin Independent School District on Friday, November 19, 2021

When you give this holiday season, you never know who you might be helping, and for Franklin ISD students, they say that’s what keeps them motivated.

“It definitely makes me feel like we are connected in a way that we don’t even know it,” said Jeske. “We really don’t know who comes in here and gets these items, and it shows us that that behind a closed door, we don’t know who’s really struggling, and we can be a part of that without us even knowing who it’s like and who we’re helping out.”

“It makes me feel really good. I’ve always come from a family where I have a very blessed life, and I know some other people don’t have it,” said Rampy. " Just knowing that I give back and that my friends give back to a classmate that could be sitting right next to me just means a whole lot, knowing that they’re taken care of and that they know they have support around them at any time.”

As the KBTX family prepares for the holidays, we invite you and your family to join us Wednesday, December 1st, at any of our donation sites for the 26th Annual Food For Families Food Drive. Click here for more information or to donate.

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