Archive 2008 - 2019

Holliston Pantry Shelf Spring Update

by Amy Porter


Spring is a busy time of year at the Holliston Pantry Shelf and there are many ways to support the Pantry even without working a shift. Space is very tight at the facility at 23 Water Street, and sometimes having too many people there can be counter-productive. Volunteers can spend more time getting out of each other's way than being able to get any work done. So here are some guidelines with more ways to help out, without working a shift:

Pantry Donation Guidelines - At this time of year, the Pantry is fortunate to receive a large number of donations through town collections and fundraisers. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when collecting for the Pantry:
•    First, please let us know about any collection ahead of time, whether it is a donation of goods or a monetary fundraiser. This way, Pantry staff can know what to expect and will be able to answer any questions when we are asked about an event an outside group may be organizing to benefit the Pantry. The Pantry web site will post these events on a calendar, which will also help to avoid having too many collections for the Pantry at a particular event. Please email us at to notify us of your plans.
•    Space is very limited at the Pantry, so please use the email address above to coordinate a time for a pick-up or a delivery of donated goods when there is room and appropriate staffing.
•    To save our volunteers some time, please check all expiration dates on items collected and discard those that have expired.

Junior Scavenger Hunt
The Junior class at Holliston High School is continuing the tradition of collecting donations for the Pantry through the Annual Junior Scavenger Hunt. This year's event will be held on Saturday, April 5 and the students will be visiting Holliston neighborhoods to collect from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Items to be collected are canned goods, boxed foods, juice boxes, coffee, peanut butter and toiletries. Progresso Soup and paper goods are also in particular demand. Any questions, please contact the Class of 2015 advisors, Kaitlin Mills at or Jennifer Moreau at

Organize a neighborhood collection
It's easy for students and other people in the community to organize a neighborhood Donation Day. Just go to the Pantry web site at for a list of current needs. Make up a flyer for your neighbors and let them know when and what you will be collecting. Use the guidelines above to contact a member of the Pantry Shelf to coordinate a drop-off or pick-up. A garage sale or a bake sale to benefit the Pantry is a great way to help out, too.

Planet Aid  
Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to fill up Planet Aid recycling bins at two Holliston locations to help the Holliston Pantry Shelf.  Planet Aid donates a portion of the proceeds from the box at Holliston Oil at 286 Woodland Street across from the Placentino and Miller Schools, and the box in the parking lot next to 23 Water Street. Items donated are resold and recycled by Planet Aid “to reduce waste in local landfills” with the end goal of "zero waste". As a result, a quarterly donation of "pennies per pound" is made to the Holliston Pantry Shelf. For any students looking for ways to help the Pantry, collecting donations for the bins would be a great idea. Items that are accepted by Planet Aid are: clothing, shoes, belts, handbags, beddings, curtains, DVDs, CDs and small toys and stuffed animals under three lbs. Household items and furniture are not accepted and all donations should be secured in plastic bags. All donations are tax deductible.
Also, business owners who would like to use any extra space on their property to benefit the Pantry Shelf could arrange to have a Planet Aid bin delivered and maintained at no charge. Please email for more information.
Other spring happenings at the Pantry:
Monday Hours
The Holliston Pantry Shelf is pleased to be able to offer additional shopping hours for clients. Monday afternoons and evenings, the Pantry is now open 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Thank you to the many volunteers who have offered to staff these new hours and allowing our working clients another evening to shop.

Current Needs
Progresso Soups
Peanut Butter
Canned Meats/Tuna
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper

Comments (3)

(my 2nd comment) Worse, Danish prosecutors link Planet Aid to an alleged cult called the Tvind Teachers Group. Five leaders of that group are Interpol fugitives wanted in their native Denmark in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-fraud and embezzlement scheme. Google search: "Kindness into Cash" - exposé of used clothes company Planet Aid - pt. 1 [Further info is in the description area of the above video; click on 'Show more' while on that page.] Please research before you donate.

Wade | 2014-04-05 01:32:14

It's great to help out the Holliston Pantry Shelf, which does a lot of good in the community. But after researching Planet Aid for years, I have concerns. For starters, the "partnership" benefits Planet Aid far more than it does the pantry. The clothing that the company collects in its bins can be sold for much more than the paltry 1¢ or 2¢ per pound it typically pays to a business or cash-strapped school or charity that agrees to partner with the company. Prices vary, but "credential clothing" ? what Planet Aid collects 'as is' ? can sell for around 40¢ per pound. Even "mixed rags" can fetch 20¢ per Lb. Some clothing brokers sell paired used shoes for $1.65 a pound. Furthermore, reports across the country say bins owned by companies like Planet Aid sometimes cause blight, public right-of-way issues, and even cause donations to dwindle at local charities that also collect clothing to fund their programs. And some towns' officials complain that such companies are getting a free ride ? paying no local taxes or fees ? even while little or none of the proceeds from their collections benefit the local populace. Planet Aid has faced a storm of media criticism for even more disturbing reasons. The Chicago-based CharityWatch gave Planet Aid an "F" grade after analyzing its 2012 tax form and audited financial statements, determining that Planet Aid spent only 27% of its expenses on programs. Google search: CharityWatch Debunks Planet Aid's Recycling Program (concluded in my 2nd comment)

Wade | 2014-04-04 02:10:30

What a good article! Anyone who loves and supports our wonderful Pantry might consider making a copy and keeping it close by as a reminder of how many different ways there are to help out--and how best to do it. The Holliston community continues to amaze me with its generosity.

Peggy | 2014-04-03 13:34:08