Denver United Methodist Church members recently came together to fulfill what they saw as a community need. Together they launched a Little Free Pantry where community members can take what they need and drop off what they can give.
A humble DUMC church member, who wishes to remain anonymous, helped start the initiative. Here he shares the details.
Denver Citizen: Tell us about how this all started.
Church member: It’s a new idea that came up about two years back. I had read an article a while back in a magazine all the churches get. The concept itself is not entirely new, as I’m sure you know about the Little Free Library, which has been around for a while, but it’s new to our church.
DC: What inspired you to take action?
CM: Well when I was telling my pastor about the idea and told him this is something I wanted to do, around that same time I hear about a guy in our church who said his brother really needed some food. It’s kind of funny how things in life come together like that. I already knew there was a need, and that proved it.
DC: Why did you think a food pantry would be a good way to help the local hunger problem?
CM: People are proud. Instead of them having to fill out forms and ask for things like food stamps, this gives them a chance to grab what they need that’s readily available to them.
We’re really trying to fill a need. The pantry is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Just like the sign says, you can take what you want or need, no questions asked.
DC: What went into making it happen?
CM: Usually I’m a thinker not a doer, but this was something I thought was really important. We had one guy build it – it looks fantastic, probably about 8 feet off the ground with lots of shelves. Our church members have been responsible for collecting donations to stock it, even the Sunday school classes have helped. We decided to put it near the church because it’s convenient for the community, and it’s in a safe well-lit area that people can come to easily anytime. We also have a church member who’s going to look after it, but really it’s the responsibility of the church members and the community to keep it stocked, so a convenient location was important.
DC: What items are you hoping to keep it stocked with?
CM: It can be anything food-related – cans of food, cereal, rice or even ketchup. It can also be soap, baby wipes, things like that; we’re calling those things personal care items. If you’re at the store and see “buy one get one free,” buy what you need for yourself and go ahead and get one free to put in the pantry.