FALLS CITY – Members of the community gathered on a blistery cold Sunday, October 14th to bring a little warmth to Falls City. Jessica Santo and her ROLEmodels hosted a grand opening for the community’s first Little Free Pantry at the Mini Park near 15th and Stone Street.
What’s the Little Free Pantry you ask? The LFP is a full-circle community effort to help those who aren’t easily able to meet everyday food and personal needs. Those in need are able to approach the LFP freely at any time of day to take anything they need, whether it be food or personal items, with no requirements, application to fill out or ID to bring. Those who want to give are just as easily able to approach the LFP and leave whatever items they desire. The LFP silences the stigma and shame that divides folks who give and folks who need.
The Little Free Pantry pilot project began in May 2016 in Arkansas and now thousands scatter the United States. The goal of the project is to bring the community together to provide easily accessible foods and goods to local individuals in need.
Project leader Jessica Santo fell in love with The Little Free Pantry movement the moment she stumbled upon it on Instagram.
“I knew it would be perfect for Falls City. I wanted to help bring our community together and help our neighbors who may need a little boost. From soup to diapers, it will be there if someone needs it. It’s a small thing we can do to make a big impact. Food insecurity is a major problem not only in our country but in our small community here in Falls City. If I can educate a group of girls, who can help solve that problem, then that’s what I’m going to do.” notes Jessica.
A special thanks goes out to the Jessica Santo Photography’s ROLEmodels:
Elizabeth Keithley, Ahren Ebel, Erin Brewer, Emily Crouse, Randee Witt, Emma Gibson and Ciarra Catlin for their fundraising efforts to buy the building materials.
Other community members who had a hand in helping bring this to life are Josh Rhodd with Top Quality Construction who built and installed the pantry and Stripes and Signs who made the window decal.
Lastly, thank you to Father Cole Kennett for blessing the pantry at its grand opening on Sunday the 14th.
If you’d like to help out, you can donate directly to the Little Free Pantry by placing your items inside or by making a monetary donation at F&M Bank for restocking and maintaining the pantry. Current items needed include diapers of any size, baby food, gloves, stocking hats and boxed dinners such as tuna helper or mac and cheese.
By working together as a community we can make sure it’s taken care of and stocked the best we can. We know there will be days where it will be empty and that’s okay. As long as we are doing our part to make a difference then that’s all that matters.