‘Little library’ for food installed at Smitty’s Market

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2020 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Smith and Meyer install a small freezer in the cabinet. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

In another effort to eliminate food insecurity in area communities, Smitty’s Chester Market and Chester Helping Hands have teamed up to install a food pantry for those who are in need.

On Wednesday morning, Stu Stocker and Smitty’s owner Garrison Smith could be found leveling a wooden cabinet equipped with glass doors just outside the entrance to the market. The cabinet was built by Stocker to contain shelves and a spot for a freezer.

Dylan Smith helps Meyer with stocking the shelves

“People can take what they need,” said Chris Meyer of Chester Helping Hands, “or they can leave frozen foods, boxes, cans or other dry goods for others. It’s like a ‘little library’ except it’s for food.”

With the cabinet leveled and the freezer installed, Smith and Meyer went inside for some items to “prime” the pantry and came out with boxes of pasta, rice and crackers, jars of pasta sauce and cans of green beans and baked beans to load onto the shelves.

From left, Stu Stocker, Garrison Smith and Chris Meyer swear they are smiling under their masks

“We’ll have to wait on the frozen foods until the freezer gets down to temperature,” said Meyer, whose next task is to make up some signs explaining how the pantry works.

“I hope it works well and helps people,” said Smith, noting that he was happy to provide the space.

Meyer told The Telegraph this this was the first such food pantry in southern Vermont and that other locations had expressed an interest in sponsoring  one  as well.

Chester Helping Hands is a non-profit charitable organization that has received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. The group provides hundreds of meals each week for those who are in need of help and also sponsor with Katsiroubas Brothers of Boston a pre-order Saturday drive-through market of local foods as well as of produce boxes.

 

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  1. Nancie Lorenz says:

    What a wonderful idea!
    Thanks to Chris, Smitty’s and Stu for making this community resource available! 👏👏👏

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