GraceWork Ministries of Franklin, a nonprofit that helps families in need with food, clothing and financial assistance, has expanded its food donation services to help counter shortages and school closings as more coronovirus cases are reported within Williamson County.

Ordinarily, GraceWorks allows families to visit its food pantry once every 30 days. After both Franklin Special School District and Williamson County Schools have experienced closings due to coronavirus concerns, however, many children who normally receive food assistance through their schools will be deprived of that option this week as well as next week during spring break.

To help during these special circumstances, GraceWorks, with the help of its partner OneGen, have expanded its food donation services to allow for families to visit once every two weeks.

“Our reaction is to be the consistent place that we always are so that when needs come up, we're here and open during those times,” said GraceWorks Director Bryan Pog. “All neighbors are able to shop once every 30 days, and our food pantry is open to anybody and everybody. We've laxed our policy during this time as we know that families are potentially needing food because they have an unplanned week.”

While only families from Williamson County are eligible for financial assistance from GraceWorks, families of and not of the county are welcome to visit its food pantry.

On Thursday, Graceworks had also provided a last minute mobile food pantry in Fairview, where GraceWorks staff helped feed 50-60 households.

Pogg said that were any residents interested in helping support GraceWorks, the most effective way would be through financial donations, as the partnerships GraceWorks has with food suppliers allows for the purchase of more food than what a regular consumer could purchase.

Food donations are also welcome, with things like canned goods and dry foods most helpful. Click here to visit GraceWorks donation page, or click here to learn more about food donations and otherwise. Additionally, click here to support OneGen, GraceWorks partner food bank.