Route 1 Liquor Mart presents ...

TASTE FOR THE TOWN                                 2010

Foxboro Discretionary Fund

What has become to be known as, the Foxboro Discretionary Fund was founded by the late Jerry Rodman in the mid 1970’s.  At that time, Jerry noticed that there were quite a few single mothers in the town of Foxboro who were unable to provide Christmas gifts for their children.  He took it upon himself to purchase toys for many households.  This idea of helping the community began to grow over the next several years and by the early 1980’s, the Foxboro Discretionary Fund was being run by Jerry and Jack Authelet.  The Fund also included a small space at St. Mark’s Church which they utilized for a food pantry that needy people could visit once monthly to get a shopping bag full of groceries.  They found that they began to receive donations from people within the community to keep the shelves stocked with food and also that they could use to purchase clothing and toys for children at Christmas. 

By the late 1980’s, the Foxboro Discretionary Fund began to be run by the late Lorraine Garland (Lisa Downs’ mother).  Lorraine and Jerry took the Fund to a whole new level with fundraising so that they could provide assistance to Foxboro families that fell upon difficult times throughout the year.  They began to help Foxboro residents financially with utility, heating, or rent bills.  They provided this assistance only to those who knew that after this assistance, they were inevitably responsible for then getting themselves back on their feet.  The holiday program also grew to deliveries on Christmas Eve to approximately 70 households each year.

Unfortunately, Jerry Rodman passed away after a long battle with cancer in the late 1990’s and Lorraine Garland (along with her husband) died in a car accident in 2000.  Immediately, a new group of people (who had been helping along the sidelines for some time) stepped up to ensure that their efforts would continue.  The Board at that time consisted of Jeff Peterson, Lori McDonald, Cathy Hickey, Scot Rodman and Lisa Downs.

Since this time, the food pantry outgrew their space at St. Mark’s and is still residing at a large space at Invensys in Foxboro.  The Food Pantry now provides food for over 150 households monthly and we now have the capability to provide frozen and refrigerated items in addition to our non perishable food.  The Discretionary Fund assists residents almost daily financially with anything from diapers, utilities and medication to heat and rental/mortgage assistance.  We were able to provide heat to all households that requested help with that matter since 2008 because of generous contributions from our community.  The holiday program delivered food to over 200 households on Thanksgiving and again at Christmas (along with toys, clothing and gift cards for 230 children) in 2009 and this number will most likely continue to grow exponentially.  The FDF also runs the “Fresh Start” Program every August whereby we purchase all back to school supplies and clothing for almost 150 children and teens.

The Foxboro Discretionary Fund works diligently to help those that are unable to help themselves – children and senior citizens are key populations that need help and often are unheard.  By working closely with the Foxboro schools, local churches and the Foxboro Human Services, we are able to target those in need.  Without the donations from individuals, companies and organizations within our community, we would not be able to provide the support that we have become so accustomed to.