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On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito was in Framingham for a number of events, including highlighting the resource hotline Mass2-1-1, marking the grand re-opening of one of the state’s largest food pantries, and seeing some of what Framingham State has to offer for students in the STEM fields.

Dial 2-1-1 to get connected to the resources and information you need

img_1787-copyThough the original event was postponed due to a classic New England snowstorm, Lt. Governor Polito still visited with staff and volunteers at Mass2-1-1 to officially celebrate Massachusetts 2-1-1 Day (February 11, 2017). The Mass2-1-1 hotline and website instantly connects any and all residents of the Commonwealth to important, non-emergency resources.

The hotline, which has been in operation in Massachusetts since 2006, offers people in all 14 counties an easy way to access necessary assistance. Whether someone needs help finding a shelter, a place to eat a hot meal, learning about unemployment benefits, or simply help filing their taxes, all one needs to do is pick up the phone and dial the free number 2-1-1 (or use the online service) to instantly be connected to a trained operator.

During her remarks, Lt. Governor Polito announces that the Mass 2-1-1 hotline now integrates with the United Ways Mental Health Suicide prevention line, known as Call2Talk, to help those in distress. Depressed, stressed, and even suicidal individuals are encouraged to call 2-1-1 to be connected with a safe, friendly voice.

If you are a compassionate, empathetic person, please consider volunteering to be a call taker. Training is free and ample support is provided. If you or someone you know is in need, please dial 2-1-1 (or visit http://mass211.org/ ) to be connected with a helping hand.

Lt. Governor Polito helps cut ribbon at Framingham food pantry

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Piggy-backing on already being on location with the United Way of Tri-County, the partnering organization for both Mass2-1-1 and Call2Talk, Lt. Governor Polito also helped to ceremonially re-open the Pearl Street Cupboard and Café.

In just 6.5 years, the Pearl Street Cupboard & Café has become one of the largest food pantries and congregate meal programs in the Commonwealth, distributing over 2 million pounds of food to over 17,000 individuals and providing over 22,000 hot meals to residents of Framingham in just 2016.

Lt. Governor Polito gets a personal tour by Framingham State President Cevallos

Framingham State University President Javier Cevallos led Lt. Governor Polito on a tour of Framingham State University’s new Hemenway Science Laboratories, as well as the Christa McAuliffe Center and Planetarium, where staff and students demonstrated the strengths of the campus around the STEM fields.

The Hemenway Science Building opened in 2015 with 15 labs for chemistry, biology, food science, nutrition, and more, giving students an opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment. TheMcAuliffe Center, named after teacher Christa McAuliffe who was a member of the crew of the Challenger, serves as a hands on classroom for over 11,000 middle school students who visit it every year. The Center plays a significant role in inspiring students in the STEM field, and offers young visitors the opportunity to take a simulated space shuttle flight and staff mission control.

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