WESTBOROUGH – Residents lined Gary Circle in Westborough on Saturday to drop off food for the Westborough Little Free Pantry.
The food drive was sponsored by the campaign for Kate Donaghue — a Westborough resident who is running to be the state representative of the newly-formed 19th Worcester District.
“For my first campaign event, I thought it made sense to have something that benefited the Little Free Pantry,” Donaghue told the Community Advocate.
The pantry is located in the parking lot of St. Stephen’s Church at 3 John Street in town.
“We have wonderful volunteers that donate what they can, but with the amount of usage, it’s very helpful for us to have backup product so that we can stock it as needed,” said one of the pantry’s founders Judith Tully.
Tully said this is especially true at the end of each month and during school vacations, when benefits might not be able to cover a person or family’s needs.
Freepantry grows from pandemic roots
The Little Free Pantry got its start, Tully said, after volunteers saw community members grappling with food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic..
“The food pantry was doing what it could do,” Tully said. “But it’s only open certain periods of time.”
The Little Free Pantry was specifically the project of In Your Shoes, which is a giving circle and nonprofit that provides emergency assistance that provides grants for community members who are in need.
The Free Pantry was open for a trial period in June of last year.
In Your Shoes then held a ribbon cutting ceremony in September.
Their motto is, “take what you need, leave what you can,” Tully said.
“It’s amazing how much product we have turned over,” she added.
Volunteers maintain food pantry
A group of volunteers regularly check on the pantry to make sure that it is stocked and that none of the products are expired.
They also provide resources, including directing individuals to the Westborough Food Pantry and other locations where they can get clothing.
For more information, visit https://inyourshoeswestborough.com/little-free-pantry.
Westborough’s Kate Donaghue announces campaign for new state representative seat