By Laura Marzullo
Food, Hygiene items, paper goods—the Little Free Pantry is equipped with everything you need. The legacy of a Little Free Pantry has existed and been nourishing neighborhoods for many years throughout and out of the country and has now come to Bloomingdale.
Inspired by the creation, Mike McCormack, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Brandon, was interested in having a Little Free Pantry in the community. This pantry is located on Morgan St. between the church’s Morgan St. entrance and the Family Promise Day Center. The Little Free Library boxes found in neighborhoods where people take a book or give a book encouraged the Little Free Pantry to develop.
“Anyone is welcome to take items that are needed with no questions asked, and anyone that wants to donate items is welcome to do that as well,” said Sandra Reynolds, chairperson for the Mission Ministry Team.
This Little Free Pantry is placed with the intent that neighbors will help provide for one another. Neighbors are able to see each other’s battles and feel encouraged to make their days better. The ensemble of food items, paper products and hygiene elements allows the community to take one step forward in coming together. People are able to supply the pantry with items they need or believe other people will need; although, if needed, the congregation shared a list of suggested items.
The Little Free Panty is First Presbyterian Church of Brandon’s ‘trial run.’ As time goes on, the members will adjust what is needed.
“We will see how well it is received in our neighborhood” and also be observant on “how responsible people in our congregation are to restocking it,” said Reynolds.
One of the church members, Keith Reynolds, is the builder behind the Little Free Pantry. The congregation is extremely devoted to what the Little Free Pantry embodies. In fact, after six months, if the need for additional Little Free Pantries in the community enlarges, three gentlemen in the congregation are willing to build more.
Providing and receiving goods changes and impacts lives. The Little Free Pantry overall allows individuals to create something bigger than themselves.