By Amanda Ensinger
Franklin Township leaders are working to bring more accessibility to fresh produce in the area by partnering with a community organization.
At a recent Franklin Township board meeting, Franklin Township Assistant Fire Chief Chas Adams discussed this need in the township.
“We are a food desert here and the accessibility to fresh nutritious food is sparse,” Adams said. “We want to fix that and are working with the Community Health Action Team to bring a food pantry to the region.”
Adams said the township also has a lot of children who are more likely to receive food only when school is in session. They also are putting a plan together to address this issue to ensure children are eating at home and during periods when school is not in session.
“We are getting bookbags and filling them with food so kids can take this food home and have something to eat when they are not at school,” Adams said. “We have a lot of kids not eating at home and want to address this issue on the Westside.”
These partnerships will be a collaboration with Franklin Public Health, as well as other regional organizations.
“This will not cost the township anything,” Adams said. “It will be supported by other organizations and simply help our residents, as well as all other residents on the Westside.”
The board also commended Adams for the continued training they give children in the region on what to do if there is a fire. The department invested in a smoke house that teaches children what to do and how to escape if there is a fire in their home.
“We paid $500 for that smoke house and it usually costs $18,000,” Adams said.
Trustees John Fleshman said the return on investment for the smoke house is immeasurable.
“We have used the smoke house at National Night Out, at school events and countless other community activities,” Fleshman said. “If this smoke house saves only one life from the things the kids learn using it, then it is worth it.”
In other news, the board gave an update on a renovation project in the township.
The township plans to move forward with demolishing the building next door to its Township Hall on Frank Road in the near future. The township recently bought the property and plans to place a freestanding office for the police department on the property via a modular trailer.
“We are going to let the fire department do some training in there before we tear it down,” said Jim Stevens, road superintendent for the township. “Once they are done, we expect the building to be gone soon.”