There is a common event for many adults across North America, you finish work, you get home, and you set about what ever you need to do around the house. For one Saint Paul, Minnesota resident that is to check her pantry to make sure it is well stocked for the next day. Only Jamie Hendricks’ pantry isn’t inside the house – it’s out front and it isn’t for her, it’s for those in her community who are in need. Hendricks’ planted the North End Free Pantry in her front yard after she got the idea from “Little Free Libraries,” where neighbors lend and borrow books. But she’s replaced books with food. She knew that there were people in her community in need but when so many people took the free food at first, she had to replace her two-and-a-half-foot pantry with a seven-foot one.
Because Hendricks stocks it daily there is always food, but not just Hendricks is helping out; Hendricks’s neighbor Rosie Thuhl sees the impact as people come for food everyday. “It’s not only that [people are] taking but people are almost two, three times a week bringing stuff,” Thuhl said.
So who is making use of the pantry? people like Angelique Rush who knows what it’s like to choose between paying bills and buying groceries for her husband and four kids. “Now we don’t get paid for another three days, so we are at the pantry trying to figure out what we can feed the kids since they’re out of school,” Rush said as she approaches the pantry. She’s hoping for some breakfast and something to make that her kids can warm up while she’s at work. Rush learned about the pantry on Facebook. She’s gone to food banks, but they have limited hours and some require proof of income. She says she and her husband make $75 too much to qualify for food stamps. This isn’t uncommon, in fact free food pantries have popped up across the USA. One online directory shows more than 700 listed.
“It kind of provides a little bit of hope for people,” Hendricks said. “And not just in the sense that there’s something there but that other people care.” Our Good News Story of the Day, which you can read here, asked – What kind of world would we be living in if everyone did a small thing like Hendricks? “A non-hungry world, that’s for sure,” Rush said. “It would make it easier for people to survive.”
We think it would be a far more kind world.
Story and Image from CBS News.