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Chester County Press

Kennett Area Community Service sponsors new food pantry

11/03/2021 10:08AM ● By Richard Gaw

Photo by Richard L. Gaw                   Rev. Nancy T. Hauser of the Church of the Advent, far left, joined Kennett Area Community Service Executive Director Leah Reynolds and the Daly family at the formal dedication of a Little Free Pantry cupboard on Oct. 27. The cupboard, which will provide free food to needy families in the community, is located in the parking lot of the church at 401 N. Union Street in Kennett Square.

 

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

In a town whose collective conscience has been built on the art of selflessness and good deeds, Kennett Square recently made one more giant leap to solidify its reputation – steps that were made by a high school student and her parents.

Before elected officials, representatives from the local non-profit sector and a few dozen guests gathered at the Episcopal Church of the Advent on North Union Street, Kennett Area Community Service (KACS) cut the ribbon on the first Little Free Pantry to be installed in Kennett Square.

Conceived and constructed by Unionville High School junior Sara Daly and her parents Mike and Tracy, the mini pantry is located at the church's parking lot and is stocked with non-perishable food items like cereal, canned goods, rice and beans. The project was done in partnership with KACS to provide needy families in the Kennett Square community with an additional food resource.

KACS will coordinate food donations and volunteers to monitor supply levels at the cupboard.

“We’re thrilled to help bring this important initiative to the community,” said KACS Executive Director Leah Reynolds. “The Little Free Pantry movement aligns perfectly with the mission of KACS to meet people where their needs are at, and we look forward to working with Tracy and Sara to make this a valuable resource for our neighbors in need.

“A huge thank you goes to the Church of the Advent for stepping up to be an example in the community of how we help others.”

“We are honored to be a part of this project,” said Rev. Nancy T. Hauser of the Church of the Advent. “We see providing space for this pantry as a manifestation of our support for the tremendous work that KACS does in this community.”

The Little Free Pantry movement began in May of 2016 in Fayetteville, Ark., when Jessica McClard planted the Little Free Pantry Pilot, a wooden box on a post containing food, personal care, and paper items accessible to everyone all the time no questions asked. One month later, CrystalRock Cathedral Women's Ministries planted their Blessing Box in Ardmore, Okla. and by 2016, the grassroots movement had gone global.

Tracy Daly first read about the Little Free Pantry movement in Eating Well magazine.

“We have been in Kennett Square for the past 30 years and have wanted to give to Kennett Square in a way that is significant for the town, and this was on our list of things to do,” said Tracy, who with her husband adopted their daughter from Ethiopia when Sara was four years old. “It is a small amount to give, but as Leah said, it is accessible all of the time when people really need it, without question, without judgment.”

The Daly family is in the beginning stages of building a second Little Free Pantry that will eventually be placed at the Kennett Area YMCA.

For those interested in contributing to the Little Free Pantry at the Church of the Advent, please bring the following items to KACS: two-pound bags of rice and dried beans, pasta, cooking oil, canned vegetables and fruit, cereal, flour and masala and tortillas. To learn more about the Little Free Pantry movement, visit www.littlefreepantry.org.

To make a contribution to Kennett Area Community Service, visit their website at www.kacsonline.net.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected]