GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A supply of backpacks were filled by the Franklin County community to support the “Love in a Backpack” project that helps inmates being released from jail.

The Transition from Jail to Community Task Force (TJC) wants to make the community a welcoming place for inmates leaving incarceration. TJC has been supported by the “Love in a Backpack” project of St. John’s Church in Ashfield for its third year.

In February 2020, TJC began to work on the backpack initiative. At that time 20 backpacks of toiletries and basic supplies were given to women and men leaving the Franklin County jail. The TJC provided 50 backpacks in April 2021. On May 11, TJC Task Force members, volunteers, and members of the community helped to fill a record breaking 85 backpacks.

Since 2018, the TJC has worked on many projects such as easing housing issues for inmates and creating a mural for the Town of Greenfield. The backpacks and supplies are distributed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office reentry team staff to men and women being released from the Franklin County Jail.

Products were dropped off at donation bins placed around Greenfield and were filled to overflowing. Multiple community organizations also donated supplies. Nearly $1,600 in cash donations were received from residents across Franklin County.