By Paige Nash
Newly declared Louisiana Ambassador and local philanthropist Ethan Jeffus launched a new initiative known as the “Little Free Pantry Louisiana.” A ribbon cutting ceremony was held outside of the Sibley Town Hall on Friday morning to officially declare the new pantry open for business.
The goal of this initiative is to connect newly launched pantries with already existing pantries to form a network across the state that will be easily accessible to members of each community that are in need of food and basic essentials.
“1 in 7 people is food insecure in our state and that was shocking to me,” said Jeffus. “When I was volunteering at the local food pantry, I thought about hunger in other countries, in third world countries. I didn’t think about it in our country, in our state, in our town, in our community, but there are people who are hungry right here.”
With September being Hunger Action Month, donating to the little free pantries in your neighborhood is one way to get involved in the fight against hunger to help ensure that families do not have to choose between going hungry or paying for other important necessities like clothing or utilities.
Other items that can be donated besides food, are household supplies, cleaning products, first aid kits, laundry detergent or toiletries. Donors could also stock the pantry with clothing essentials, such as underwear or socks.
“That’s the whole point of this project, is to serve as an outlet for neighbors to feed neighbors. When getting this started, there is a lot of community involvement, so now that it’s here, it’s for the community to utilize. It’s for people to come and give food that their neighbors can come and take and bring home to feed their families,” said Jeffus.
The little free pantry is always open, unlike a regular food pantry, it does not operate by regular business hours. There is no lock on the box. Donors and residents in need can come and go as they please. Community involvement is crucial for the success of this initiative.
“I am really proud of this young man that has decided to help people less fortunate. With all the bad in today’s society, it’s refreshing to see this young man help others,” said Town of Sibley Mayor Jimmy Williams. “Proverbs 11:25 says a generous person will prosper. I think God will bless Ethan for his kind work. With inflation that we are experiencing today, every little thing helps.”
This pantry located in Sibley is part of a larger network of pantries that span the state of Louisiana. If you are interested in taking items from the pantry or donating to them, you can easily access information on a location near you at littlefreepantry.org. The website contains a map detailing all of the registered pantries across the nation.
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