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Independent Thoughts: K of C aims to alleviate food insecurity issues; HHS student to curate exhibit at HCA

by | Mar 20, 2023 | Featured

The Knights of Columbus Bishop Rice Council 4822, which represents Hopkinton and Ashland, once again is organizing its Food for Families Food Drive, which runs through March 26. Last year’s event raised $2,350 and “literally a ton of food and supplies,” shared council member Jim Kenealy.

“Just as we are putting the pandemic in our rear view, skyrocketing inflation is decimating family budgets,” the council wrote in its appeal. “Also, additional federal [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] benefits are expiring this month for many families. Food insecurity affects 1 out of 8 Massachusetts residents.”

The food pantry at Hopkinton-based Project Just Because will be the recipient of the donations, and the council notes that PJB is “continually challenged to meet the ongoing needs of our community” and is running “critically low on food and supplies.”

Anyone interested in supporting the effort can donate in a few ways. One is by sending a check made out to Project Just Because, with “K of C 4822 FFF Food Drive” written in the memo line, to ATTN: K of C Food Drive, St. John the Evangelist, 20 Church Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748. Another is by purchasing an Amazon e-gift card, including “K of C FFF Food Drive” in the message box and having it emailed to pjboffice@comcast.net. Lastly, gifts can be made through donor-advised charitable funds by selecting Project Just Because in Hopkinton (Tax ID 06-1728553) and specifying in the use or note area that it is for the K of C Council 4822 Food for Families Food Drive.

“We understand that these are trying times for many, including our own families and friends, and there are an overwhelming number of requests for aid from numerous worthy causes and organizations,” the council shared. “Food is a basic necessity, before all others. We truly appreciate your thoughtful consideration and participation in the Food For Families Virtual Food Drive as best as you are able.”

Student to curate exhibit at HCA

Hopkinton High School senior Owen Fitzpatrick received a grant from the Hopkinton Cultural Council and will be the first student to curate an exhibit at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts Loft Gallery.

Fitzpatrick is putting out a call for artists to submit pieces of work “right from the walls of your home” for the exhibit, which is titled “More Than Four Walls: A Reflection on Family and Community.”

“Our homes are more than the four walls around us,” Fitzpatrick writes. “There’s been so much discussion lately of who we are as a community — we are not this, or we are not that. I would like to make a positive statement about who we are and what is important to us. By engaging families from all areas and groups in Hopkinton and surrounding communities, people will see that while different, we all have a common thread of making our homes beautiful for our families. Through sharing what that is and means to each of us, we will come together. My exhibit will promote community connection and encourage families to form bonds through the art that they find beautiful that they keep in their homes.”

Families are invited to email a photo (jpeg recommended) containing one work of art along with the family’s name, the title of the artwork, the dimensions (height and width; must be no larger than 18 inches wide) and a brief description (125 words or less) of why the piece was chosen and its significance. The exhibit is not looking for posed family photos, although photos may include people.

Items can be emailed to morethanfourwalls2023@gmail.com, and individuals can use the same email for questions.

A total of 16-18 pieces will be chosen for exhibition and displayed with the description sent in by the family. The family that best describes why their piece of art represents them will win a $100 gift certificate to Start Line Brewing.

The deadline for submissions is April 15, and the show will run from May 13 to June 24.

Shared Fitzpatrick: “I want people to think about art in our world and in our homes and encourage people who may not know each other to meet at this show, expand community in our town, and encourage more participation [at the] HCA.”

Volunteers seek to beautify town

Jeff Barnes, chair of the Conservation Committee, and Mike Boelsen, a longtime trails volunteer, are leading an effort to beautify the town by removing litter from roadsides.

They are organizing the inaugural Hop Yellow Bag Day on Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m.-noon (rain date April 2).

Volunteers — who should wear bright clothes and work gloves — will meet at the Town Common gazebo at 8:30 a.m. to pick up a yellow trash bag and be assigned an area.

“We’ll prioritize certain areas and then work our way down from there,” Boelsen explained. “I don’t know how many people are going to come. If just a few come, we’ll focus around town, certainly what’s going to be seen from the [Boston Marathon] point of view. … Typically in a neighborhood you don’t have too much trash. It’s more in the wetland areas and secondary roads.”

Boelsen noted one area that stands out is around the Interstate 495 interchanges and where the highway crosses Route 135 (Wood Street). He said the state is responsible for those sections, but they do not get the same attention as the rest of the town, which is covered by the Hopkinton Department of Public Works.

He also said Dell EMC has a group of about 40 individuals who are going to do a similar project, focused on roads that Boston Marathon visitors will see. And anyone who is not available on April 1 can reach out for a bag and collect trash anytime before the DPW pickup on April 3.

For more information, email Boelsen (mikeboelsen2@gmail.com) or Barnes (jbarnes@hopkintonma.gov).

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