FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Activist group Forward Indiana planned, constructed, and installed their second community pantry in just two days.
It's located in front of The Glass Park at 4235 Fairfield Ave.
The pantry is stocked with non-perishable food items, toiletries, and other products that have been hard to come by since the pandemic.
Founder Sarah Thompson says they quickly installed a second pantry after the outpouring of support from the first.
“With the first pantry, we saw it was just consistently full. And we thought ‘this is great, but we need a second pantry because this isn’t the only place that has hungry people,’” Thompson said.
That’s when she reached out to Eran Park, owner of The Glass Park. He says he couldn’t wait to host a pantry in front of his business.
“Oh my gosh, it would’ve been built, painted, and installed the next day had it not been so cold,” Park said.
Carlos Marcano with Forward Indiana says there’s already been a lot of traction.
“As soon as we put up the pantries people’s eyes are already focused on it, wanting to know what it is. Some people stop, some people have given right before we even installed it,” Marcano said.
Here’s how it works:
It is used and sustained by the community, meaning folks can take what they need and donate what they don’t.
Stock the pantry with non-perishable food items that are unopened and not expired.
These items include, but are not limited to:
- Juice boxes
- Canned goods
- Dry pasta
- Hygiene items
- Menstrual products
“It’s a form of mutual aid. That means when I have excess, I’m gonna give it. And then when I need, I can take. There are no limitations, there are no hoops to jump through and it’s a form of trust,” Thompson said.
If naysayers would like to say ‘what if someone comes and steals all of the food?’ Thompson challenges them by responding ‘how do you steal from something that is free?’
The pantry is about solidarity, not charity.
“We need to get out of that charity mindset that is putting limitations on people. And solidarity means I see you. I stand with you. I support you,” she said.
Marcano says no matter how big or small, everyone should come together to support our community.
“We need to acknowledge that just because you’re at the bottom of the scale doesn’t mean you can’t make a big impact. It starts from the ground up," he said.
Here is where you can find the pantries:
- Fancy & Staple
- 1111 Broadway, Fort Wayne, IN
- The Glass Park
- 4235 Fairfield Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN
Forward Indiana says this is just the beginning. They plan on having five pantries around Fort Wayne in a month’s time.