NORTH PROVIDENCE – In the more than two months since local Girl Scouts built a new wooden food pantry outside the old public safety complex on Mineral Spring Avenue, the shelves of the cabinet have gained traction as a valued community resource, as residents continue to find items they need.
Steven Brooks, whose daughter Emma was one of those who helped with the project in June, said there’s been an “unbelievable outpouring of support” for the effort, and it’s “going wonderfully.”
Community members continue to fill the shelves with all sorts of items, he said, and people keep taking them. Once in a while, when someone notices that the cabinet is running low, a post is made on a local Facebook page and within hours it’s filled again, he said.
Brooks said those responsible for this resource are hoping that food is going to people most in need and not to those simply trying to take advantage because it’s free. Everyone has troubles at some point, he said, and if they can save a few bucks by accepting gifts from neighbors, this initiative is a success.
“It’s helping the community,” he said.
Brooks told The Breeze the food pantry is located near his family’s house, and they often have to resist the urge to “rubberneck it” as they pass by to see whether the pantry is full.
The Brooks said they haven’t heard anything about having to move the food pantry if and when the town sells the old safety complex to a private entity, but said if it needs to be moved, it will be moved.
There have been only some minor hiccups as people have dropped off items that shouldn’t be included, he said, prompting organizers to put up a sign asking people not to leave alcohol or items that can melt, among others. He said it’s been great to see new items added, including feminine hygiene products contributed by Erin Nascimento and her organization Red.Lined.Period.
A late August Facebook post from one resident said they were happy to not only find the pantry full, but that someone had left a bunch of dog food.
The sign at the top of the “take one, leave one” free food pantry states that it was donated by Troop 225, including members Emma Brooks, Kayla Donahue, Rosette Rodriquez, and Cistela Moreira, who built it for their Bronze Awards. The four built the pantry, in the same style as a Little Free Library, outside the old safety complex at 1967 Mineral Spring Ave.