What is that box by the south entrance driveway?
It’s a Little Free Pantry. As the website says,
The Little Free Pantry is a grassroots, crowd-sourced solution to immediate and local need. Whether a need for food or a need to give, the Little Free Pantry facilitates neighbors helping neighbors, building community.
Why is it in our church parking lot?
The idea came from an article in Living Lutheran about another ELCA congregation who put a pantry on their church grounds. Several SOTH members showed interest about doing something similar here. As it says on the sign in the pantry,
Because loving God and loving our neighbor is what we’re called to do. (see: Lev. 19:18, Deut. 6:5, Matt. 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27)
Who’s paying for this?
The construction of the “box” as well as a supply of food to go inside was all covered by a Thrivent Action Team grant, applied for by one of our members. Tom Krull volunteered to construct the box and buy the supplies.
Who’s going to take care of it?
The sign inside the pantry says:
Take what you need, Leave what you can. The Thrivent grant has funded the start-up items for the pantry, and the hope is that soon other community members and neighbors will be adding items as well. We have a sign-up sheet to volunteer to monitor the box for one week at a time. Ideally this could be Sunday morning after worship, then one more time during the week.
How can I help support this cool experiment?!
You can sign up for a week or two of monitoring the box (see Martha Johnson). You can let other neighbors and friends know about the pantry and how they can participate. And you can pray for all those who are food insecure who might need take food from the pantry, that they may be nourished, and might know that they are cared for by the community. While this is not a fix to the systems that create hunger in our society, it is a way of showing the compassion of Christ to those around us.