Northborough- The Food Pantry is continuing its work with the community to further its goal to help its clients in need. With the Trinity Free Medical Program, people are able to receive necessary overthe counter medication free of charge. In a tough economic climate, some are forced to forego important medicines and other necessities. But thanks to this program, in its fifth year, that is changing. Organizer and founder Beverly Shafner is excited about the results so far.
“This year it’s going very well,” Shafner said. “The need is up and we are feeling it on our end.”
The Trinity Free Medical Program is off ered through the Food Pantry on the first Wednesday morning and Thursday evening of the month. At those times – Wednesdays beginning at 9 a.m., and Thursdays beginning at 6 p.m. – a wide variety of supplies and medicines are available. Products available include, but are not limited to, band-aids and allergy and cold medicines. The selection off ers a lot to those in need.
“[The items available] are over-the-counter stuff that people would buy normally and we’re just trying to help to solve the cost by giving this service and giving it to them instead,” Shafner said.
Volunteers from clinical and non-clinical backgrounds off er their assistance to those who have any questions. It’s the volunteers who are able to have a big impact on the program.
“We are very strong on the belief that we need a clinical person there to answer necessary questions, and a nonclinical person as well,” Shafner said. “All the components are necessary for making this program successful.”
The volunteers themselves are happy to be lending a hand. Bruce Manning, who has experience as a pharmacist, is just one of those volunteers who help out and he is happy to be making a diff erence.
“It got to the point where you want to do something to give back,” he said. “I have the time and it’s something I’m trained for. I think it’s just a great service for people.”
The reaction from those that get the service has been positive. They are able to get themselves the help they need during difficul t times.
“What we see is people are very, very appreciative,” Shafner said.
With the help of Paul Shattuck and his Shattuck Pharmacy Inc., Shafner and her volunteers are able to supply the products to residents. The community response from businesses and organizations in town has been a big help.
“[Shattuck Pharmacy] is a relationship we’ve had since our first program was developed, which makes a big diff erence when you’re getting donations and money – you want to use it wisely,” Shafner said. “We see him as an integral part of this for sure.
“[The program] encompasses many other organizations in the area as well,” Shafner said.
Shafner feels that the help from the Food Pantry and Director Sue Seppa has been a big part of the program’s success. It has allowed for residents to get a tremendous amount of help, according to Shafner.
“Talk about a partnership,” Shafner said. “It’s definitely what this has been.”