“It’s been very busy since the virus – in both directions. People are more aware of giving, and there’s more need, too.
I saw something on Facebook in 2017 about a little food pantry like this where people could put in or take out as they needed. I told Jill, ‘This is what we need to do in our neighborhood.’ (Lori)
I’ve had a dream of having a garden that was all the way around lining our property so people could just come and take fresh produce from there. I wondered if we could put something out by the road with cinder blocks and boards or something like that. My husband Dan had said to me, ‘Maybe we could do something like one of those little free libraries, except for food.’ That very same day, Lori texted me and said we should put one of those pantries up. I was like, ‘If this is not a message from Heaven, I don’t know what is.’ (Jill)
We all had a hand in it. We all worked on it together. We painted it to match Dan and Jill’s house, since it was going to be in their yard. We started putting food in it and we put it out on Facebook to let people know that it was here. It took off immediately.
For me, one of the most touching things is when I see people who are using it on a regular basis also putting things in. So they are also trying to stock it. When they have a little extra, they’ll put things in and try to share.
College Mennonite Church has a matching grant program. A couple years ago, someone from the church took this on as sort of their mission. The church has been so generous with us in matching whatever people put into the fund. We buy groceries with it. People from all sorts of churches and organizations and just individuals from town are very interested. I see people coming here all the time who I don’t know dropping things off.
With The Blessing Fence next door, it’s a nice combination we have going.
It’s a labor of love for both of us.”
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