Thanks to Ridgefield 6th grader Ruby Weiner, Ridgefield will soon be home to a second "Little Pantry" which will be "kid-focused" according to Ruby. You can read our feature story about Ruby here.
Please read Ruby's note below:
Hi, my name is Ruby Weiner (my mom is Patty Labozzo). I am a 6th grader at Scotts Ridge Middle School and Ridgefield Cadette Girl Scout. During CoVid Quarantine in 2020, I realized the amount of canned and packaged food quickly moving out of The Little Pantry was 3 x as much as it normally had been. The Little Pantry is a freestanding pantry located near St. Stephen’s Church. It offers sealed/canned/packaged food to children and their families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Little Pantry is discreet and based on the take-what-you-need, bring-what-you-can honor system. I learned that The Little Pantry was seeing more activity than usual because many local people were out of work, the town pantry was not operating to full capacity and not accepting walk ins, and many families were experiencing food insecurity.
Seeking more of an understanding, I contacted Ms. Linda Hutchings, who is the Little Pantry organizer and Food Sourcing Manager of Community Food Rescue. Ms. Hutchings gave me the cold facts. Many of our local families needed more. And I want to give more, and create a second Little Pantry, one that is also kid-focused.
Normally, when I wanted to raise money for a donation or a Girl Scout community service project, I relied on recycling bottles for cash, my chore money, or birthday money. But this wouldn’t cover the cost of a second Little Pantry. My mom suggested I look into a grant to cover costs. For months, I spent free time looking up grants online, understanding the process, reviewing requirements.
One grant really interested me: the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant. I spent time gathering information for the application, completed it, and emailed it in with much hope. And on Friday, 2/21/2021, I was given the good news that I was selected to receive a Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant!
Now I’m looking forward to designing, building, placing, and (eventually) filling the Second Little Pantry! If you can and want to, please help! Work will begin immediately! (See photo of The Little Pantry that I borrowed from Ms. Hutchings with permission for inspiration!) Let's build a second one!
Thank you, Ruby, for taking a stand against food insecurity!