Holliston’s Akshara Shankar Honored
Akshara Shankar, a 2021 graduate of Holliston High School, was recently selected to receive an award from Sodexo’s Stop Hunger Foundation to recognize her for setting up a nonprofit to alert volunteers about the type of donations that are needed to stock local food pantries.
To mitigate some of the difficulties food pantries face when obtaining necessary items, she created an online platform to make it easier for food pantries to get much needed items. Her initiative started with her local food pantry and expanded quickly across the state in a matter of months.
Akshara’s interactive online platform, called manyhandsfoodpantry.com, alerts registered users and donors to the needs of the various food pantries. The donors can either collect the necessary items or purchase the needed goods and deliver them to the community food pantry. Her efforts increased ten-fold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in food insecurity as a direct result of the crisis. She also developed Farm Help www.farmtopantryhelp.com to mitigate food loss and, in the process, help food banks/pantries.