Little pantryBrittney Burns – Staff Writer

Members of the community stopped by the Ace Hardware parking lot yesterday for the unveiling of Franklin’s first Free Little Pantry. The project was made possible by Robert DiTomasso, Josh and Cortney Patrick, and John Snyder, and now with the help of the community, is stocked and ready for use.

The Little Free Pantry utilizes a familiar, compelling concept to pique local interest in and action against local food insecurity. The Little Free Pantry offers a place around which neighbors might coalesce to meet neighborhood needs, whether for food or for fun. The project started earlier this year, and is already being duplicated in communities around the country.

My hope is that the pantry is a physical symbol of this community’s img_3539generosity,” said DiTomasso. “My hope is that those truly in need of a little extra support, who may suffer from food insecurity, benefit from this pantry. Some people may feel a certain level of embarrassment when asking for help, and this pantry can offer a little support while also offering anonymity. My further hope is that even those who do not necessarily need the pantry, still take advantage of it. I believe there is an inherit benefit to sharing.”

img_3546The Little Pantry was finished and installed on Wednesday afternoon and shortly after its unveiling, members of the community began bringing canned food items, muffin mix, paper towels, shaving cream, toothpaste, and other day-to-day items. To keep the pantry stocked, the idea is for members of the community to take items when needed, and then when they have a little extra, to drop off a few things. Cortney and Josh Patrick, who own Ace Hardware, also plan to set items aside in the store to help keep the pantry stocked as needed.

In the future, Cortney hopes to develop a stocking calendar with interested individuals, businesses, churches, and organizations who may want to help ensure the pantry is stocked and successful year round.