The North Manchester Public is thrilled to partner with Community Pantry NM to host a free Community Pantry on the library grounds!
The Community Pantry, a Mutual Aid Space, is where people take responsibility for caring for one another by sharing resources. The pantry, a large cabinet that hosts non-perishable food and paper supplies, is located in the NMPL Market Street entryway and is available for public use.
The pantry helps those facing nutritional insecurity by providing easy access to free and nutritious food. Anyone who needs food or supplies is able to access the pantry 24/7 to take what they need and leave what they don't. Community members are invited to help the pantry by dropping by to clean or stock it whenever they can!
"There are so many people in this community doing great work," shares Emily Poston, who headed up the project. "The Food Pantry is amazing - this project will just be an additional resource for those who need it. The Community Pantry wants to champion participatory, citizen-led initiatives because engaging neighbors/community members results in an engaged and caring North Manchester."
Many libraries in the country also host Free Little Food Pantries, and NMPL is excited to add their names to the list. (For more information, visit the www.ilovelibraries.org website) “The library is a vital center of information and activity in our community,” says Diane Randall, Library Director. “This collaborative partnership is a great fit with the library's mission and we are excited to be part of this project.
A local art student from Manchester Community Schools painted a mural onto the outside of the pantry in late May, which not only adds visibility to the pantry, but sets a tone for the space. "Art is powerful," says Poston, "And working with a student artist can be a huge boost of community ownership."
Community members wishing to contribute can donate food (non-perishable items only please), paper supplies and hygiene items, either by leaving them in the pantry, or arranging a porch pick up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Canned goods are appreciated, but so are items like disposable diapers, toothpaste, deodorant, hygiene products, and Kleenex.