Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer

Ace Hardware and Fox Mercantile are launching a holiday food drive for the Franklin Little Pantry. Franklin’s Little Pantry is located in the parking lot of Ace Hardware and is designed to benefit those in need in the community.

To give back this holiday season, Josh and Cortney Patrick, owners of Ace Hardware, and Nick Potts, owner of Fox Mercantile, would like to launch a collection drive to keep the pantry stocked this winter. Items can be donated inside either business and anyone who makes a donation, will be entered into a raffle for chances to win a $25 gift certificate to either Ace Hardware or Fox Mercantile. The collection drive will run until Dec. 15. As items are donated, Cortney, Josh, and Nick, along with their staff will immediately stock the pantry to help out neighbors in need. Items are asked be be dropped off at either Fox or Ace.

“The pantry is such an easy way to help out during the hectic holidays,” said Josh and Cortney. “We are happy to be able to support and encourage its use.”

Franklin’s Little Pantry was built with the intention of “take what you need, leave what you can” and is one of three little pantries in Macon County. The community regularly donates to the little pantry locations and those in need are able to get items to help them get through hard times. Suggested donations include canned proteins such as tuna, meat; canned fruits, veggies, and beans, soups, peanut butter, jams, personal care items such as deodorant, bar soap, feminine hygiene products, small bottles of shampoo and conditioners (travel size), baby diapers, sandwich and gallon sized storage bags, trash bags, ziplock baggies, crayons, tape, pencils, pens, notepads,  toilet paper, paper towels. With the colder weather, additional donation items during winter months to consider are (new and unused) socks, mittens, hats, and scarves to help bundle up and stay warm.

“Since the idea was conceived I thought it was a great idea, but I never believed I would see so many people utilizing the little pantry,” said Nick Potts. “It certainly filled a need in our community and it’s nice to see something that is so simple be so effective. With the Christmas season and colder weather upon us, it’s time to extend a hand to those who may need a little extra love and compassion. We’re extremely grateful for such a good community of servants and proud to be a part of it.”