By Morgan Bryce
Spotting a need in her community, Beulah resident Grace Spain decided to create and open a “Little Free Pantry” last month in front of Pine Grove Church.
Stocked with nonperishable food and toiletry items, the pantry is a place where people can take what they need in times of want and leave or donate items in times of plenty, according to Spain.
Spain said her idea for the pantry comes from the Little Free Pantry movement launched in 2016, which derives inspiration from the Little Free Library concept.
“The goal is to fill in the gaps where people do not necessarily need food stamps or help from a food bank, but they need a little help to make it to the next paycheck. I think that food hunger is a really taboo subject,” Spain said. “I know personally I hate to ask for help, and the pantry is completely anonymous because no one is there. You never have to fill out paperwork or talk about how much or how little money you make. It’s just available whenever it is needed. I just wanted to make an easy way for people to receive food.”
Currently, Spain keeps the pantry stocked herself, but said donations have already been made. Her goal is to stock enough supplies so that it eventually becomes self-sustaining.
Examples of food items kept in the pantry include canned fruits and meats, juices, pasta and rice. Toiletry items already in stock range from deodorant and diapers to feminine items and shampoo. During the summer months, Spain said that she will be accepting donations of school supplies.
“My family has been very blessed when we have needed help in the past, and I wanted to pass the blessings on. This felt like the right thing to do because it was so simple but yet so effective,” Spain added.
For more information about the movement or to view a full directory of other Little Free Pantry locations, visit www.littlefreepantry.org.
Pine Grove Church is located at 7235 U.S. Highway 29.