A Little Free Pantry offering food to those who need it will be up and running in Greenport on Thursday, May 10. The move to install one in the area was spearheaded by North Fork resident
Penelope Rudder, who read about the organization behind the pantries several months ago.
“I thought it would be a wonderful project to initiate here,” she said.
Rudder said she has seen an outpouring of support from all over the North Fork since she first presented the idea to install a pantry to the Greenport Village Board of Trustees.
“They were very supportive. Community members as young as 10 have contacted me wanting to help. It is very heartwarming,” Rudder said.
The Little Free Pantry pilot project began in May 2016 and offers a place around which neighbors can come together to meet the community’s needs.
The pantry will not be refrigerated, so only non-perishable items may be donated. Rudder herself will stock the first pantry and will check on it regularly. She will have a suggested donation list in both English and Spanish, and the dedication will take place at 5:30 by the gazebo on Adams St. in Greenport.
According to Feeding America’s statistics, in 2015, 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households. Approximately 13.1 million of them were children.
“Food insecurity and the awareness that it exists in every county of the United States is something I knew I could help lessen when I learned about this project,” Rudder said. “I thought it was the perfect way for neighbors here to give and take and show we care about each other.
David Nyce, former Greenport mayor and Rudder’s neighbor, has offered to build the first pantry. Rudder said she asked him to construct it not only because he’s a talented craftsman, but she wanted the neighbor-to-neighbor element to truly exist in the process.
“We cannot make assumptions about anyone’s story, who is hungry and who isn’t. Having neighbors give and take like this creates an openness 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Rudder.
“Anyone and everyone has a chance to have something to eat available and when possible, give back. There are no boundaries, no questions asked. Come as you are. We are all neighbors in this together.”
Anyone who would like to be involved with the Little Free Pantry project can contact Rudder at firstname.lastname@example.org.