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CanadaLittle free pantry in northeast Calgary struggles to meet demand

02:56  03 january  2019
02:56  03 january  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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The project involves little pantry boxes being placed in easily accessible places. The first box was Bauer put up the first pantry in September last year. Since then, seven other people have asked for Bauer's free pantries even inspired women in Calgary to bring free pantries to that city a month Jennifer Lepko, the CEO of the YWCA in Lethbridge, says she's seeing a similar demand for all of the

Little Free Pantry and the mini- pantry movement applies the Little Free Library® concept to activate community engagement of food insecurity. Little Free Pantry is a grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local need. Whether a need for food or a need to give

Little free pantry in northeast Calgary struggles to meet demand © Dan McGarvey/CBC Margot Baker says the response to a call for help in restocking her little free pantry has been overwhelming.

Margot Baker set up a little free pantry in the front yard of her northeast Calgary home more than a year ago to help those in the community struggling to afford groceries.

The pantry has been so popular, she's struggling to keep up with demand — but the community has pitched in to help her keep it stocked.

Little free pantry in northeast Calgary struggles to meet demand © Dan McGarvey/CBC Dan McGarvey/CBC

"I filled it up, I stocked it, you couldn't put anything else in and that was five days ago. And yesterday, I looked and there was only four things in there. So the need is becoming more and more and more every time," she said.

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Finally, Little Free Pantries should be accessible to the public. If in an area where people travel by car How do I build a Little Free Pantry ? Feel free to replicate the original design. Or build a structure suited to your aesthetic preference and needs. Demand outpaces supply, so the LFP is often empty.

In Germany, food pantries have been struggling to keep up with rising demand as the number of people seeking their services has soared. Pantries in populous North Rhine-Westphalia, in Bavaria and Berlin in particular served more customers last year than ever before, and other federal states

Baker said many people in Abbeydale are struggling.

"They haven't had a welfare cheque come through, or they can't make their rent."

She said pantry customers range from kids picking up breakfast on the way to school to people coming at night to quietly pick up a few essentials.

Baker is a single mom on a fixed income who's also a full-time student at the University of Calgary working toward her teaching degree. She said it costs about $75 a week to fill.

Little free pantry in northeast Calgary struggles to meet demand © Dan McGarvey/CBC Dan McGarvey/CBC

She reached out to politicians and local grocery stores and churches for help, but her requests were either turned down or ignored. So, she posted a call for help on social media to keep the pantry stocked — and was overwhelmed by the response.

"It's really wonderful. I have people coming by today with carloads of food," she said.

Some of the most needed items include:

  • Granola bars.
  • Dry pasta.
  • Toothpaste.
  • Deodorant.
  • Feminine hygiene products.
  • Cooking oil.
  • Rice.

The pantry can't accept canned goods as they're not safe to leave outside in Calgary weather.

Baker said she'll now be able to keep the pantry, at 57 Aberdare Road N.E., stocked through the toughest months of the year.

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