Elizabethtown church starts ‘little pantry’

A Little Food Pantry sits in front of the offices of Christ Episcopal Church/Christ Lutheran Chapel on the West Poplar Street side of the church in Elizabethtown.

Everyone could use extra help these days, and sometimes just a little help will do.

That’s the idea behind the Little Food Pantry in front of the offices of Christ Episcopal Church/Christ Lutheran Chapel located on the corner of West Poplar and Mulberry streets in Elizabethtown.

Parish priest the Rev. Brian Baker said church member Claudia Panzerella came across an interesting idea in an article she read. The article talked about turning little libraries into food pantries during the COVID-19 crisis.

Little libraries are usually a small box that people can put books in to share with anyone who wants to read them.

The church didn’t have a little library, but Panzerella asked him if it would be possible to build a pantry to help others.

The pantry is a place where people can drop off food so those who need food can get it and is open to everyone, he said.

“We sent the idea to a group of members who love to build things and were eager to have a project,” Baker said. “Another member contacted Thrivent, the Lutheran financial institution, and secured some funds if we need them.”

Baker said it’s only been open about a week and has been stocked for a few days.

“As an avenue to be proactive in this time of need, it has been very successful,” he said.

Church members, he said, are eager to keep the pantry stocked with food.

“We even had a stranger stop by and put food in it,” he said. “We have seen one person come by and take a couple of arm loads of food out of it.”

He’s hoping more people will use the pantry when they hear about it.

Churches, he said, should always look for ways to help people who are struggling.

“And now there are people struggling in monumental ways,” Baker said. “We are hoping this can be a small way to not only be fed physically but also strengthened by knowing they are part of a caring community.”

The beauty of it is the accessibility of the pantry, he said.

“Anybody can get the food and nobody needs to know you have used this service,” he said. “It is a way for people to freely give and others to freely receive.“

During the time of COVID-19, the virus can be a significant danger to those in the community and it could be fore a long time, he said.

“We have to come up with new ways of caring for one another,” Baker said. “This is a way to exchange food without the danger of close human contact.”

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1740 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.