Stockton’s Little Free Pantry provides support, food and essential items to anyone in need

Stockton’s Little Free Pantry located in the Picnic shelter near Lynn Oval.

 

SOMETIMES empathy and doing just a little bit more than required changes an entire community.

The Little Free Pantry is a grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local needs in the Stockton community.

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Tucked away from the weather in the picnic shelter near Lynn Oval, the pantry stores food and items of need, and is available 24/7 for anyone in need in the community.

The creator of Stockton’s Little Free Pantry, Rachel Towns, spoke to News Of The Area about what the project means to her.

“Little Free Pantry Stockton provides a dignified and practical way for people to donate and access foods and information on services without judgement.

“The Little Free Pantry idea developed when I was caring for a patient in the Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre.

“It went straight to my heart when I realised that during a really terrifying time at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the patient’s only possession was a list of places to go for free meals,” she said.

After looking into the list and realising that there were no initiatives in the Stockton Community, Rachel continued researching before stumbling onto the American incentive ‘The Little Street Pantry’ and so Stockton’s location was created.

Set up just over a year ago, Rachel chose not to advertise the pantry to minimise shame attached to need, hoping that word of mouth would be enough.

It wasn’t long until Priscilla Chapman reached out and is now a pivotal part of the Pantry.

“Priscilla supplies the Little Free Pantry with resources to connect people in need with vital services and support in our community area.

“She has sourced grocery donations from big name supermarkets and even secured a supply of delicious nutrition bars and tee shirts from ‘KIND’ endorsed,” Rachel said.

The pantry is now supported by a number of community members who donate a range of items.

“Whether a need for food or a need to give, Little Free Pantries help feed neighbours, nourishing neighbourhoods. “Little Free Pantry Stockton is not an organisation,” she said.

For those wishing to donate to the pantry, consider non-perishables and hygiene, first aid and health supplies.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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