Food Pantry Opens at Franklin

Food Pantry, Traci CARES Center Opens at Ben Franklin
Posted on 07/23/2021

The Binghamton City School District is proud to officially open Ben Franklin Elementary School’s new food pantry and community resource center. A ribbon cutting event was held on Thursday, July 22. The food pantry will be stocked by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, and open to the community for two hours prior to school dismissal on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the school year, with modified hours in the summer.

The food pantry, which features an individual entrance separate from the school building, is the result of an idea of school social worker Jessica Waffle. Waffle saw a great need for such a resource in our community and approached building principal Kyle Skinner about the idea.

"It started with a closet upstairs with some nonperishable foods, and we've gone way beyond nonperishable foods at this point,” Skinner said. “We have fully stocked fridge and freezers. But in addition to that, we're really excited to have a community space, a place where our families can really gather.”

The new food pantry is part of the Traci CARES (Community Adult Resource Education Services) center. The Traci CARES center, named for late Franklin Pre-K teacher Traci Simrell, will be a venue for parent meetings, college and job fairs, community engagement nights and any event that serves our students and families. The center will also offer computers and internet access for families to work on resumes, applying for jobs, and pursue online education programs. The Traci CARES center is also equipped with a kitchen area and laundry utilities. We were honored to have members of Traci’s family join us at the ribbon cutting event.

We look forward to utilizing this great venue to serve and support our community!

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