This time of year, we do a lot of stories about food pantries. Everybody wants to feed the less fortunate for the Thanksgiving season. You can tell from one quick glance, however, that this is not your average food pantry.
Inside, it’s stocked like any food pantry, but outside, it’s – well, it’s outside. Outside of the Werners’ house on Church Street.
“As many as 90% of the kids that walk by here on any given day don’t have food when they go home, that’s an issue that’s so near and dear to our hearts,” said Ansonia wife and mother Brit Werner.
So Werner decided to do something. She started in August with a small cabinet on her front lawn. It wasn’t big enough, so they built a bigger cabinet. Anyone who needs something can just take it.
“You can come at 4 a.m.,” Werner said. “People who are working during the day and can’t get to the regular food bank, this is a really attractive model because it’s all the time.”
Werner calls it the Little Free Pantry on Church. With its unlocked doors, you might think people would clean them out every night, just take and take. Instead, as word got out, people just gave and gave. The donation bin outside her door was not big enough.
“Our doorstep would be filled with the food,” Werner said. “We couldn’t get inside or outside sometimes, and so our entire dining room was filled with food.”
For Thanksgiving, people started donating turkeys. They donated so many, Werner had to ask neighbors for freezer space, which they happily provided. She thinks she’ll feed at least 200 people this Thanksgiving. She’s not sure how big her little free pantry will get, so she wants other people to do this in their neighborhoods.
“So that we can send these to the hilltops, send these to Derby, send these to Shelton, to Naugatuck, all of these places where food bank possibly can’t meet that need,” Wener explained.
Roughly half of her house is currently dedicated to storing supplies for the pantry. Meanwhile, more donations are expected in the next few days before they distribute those boxes on Tuesday.
Fore more information about the Little Free Pantry on Church, click here.