FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Roanoke community is making sure residents can take what they need, and give what they can, this holiday season with the city’s first neighborhood pantry.
The pantry, located at 443 Commercial Street in Roanoke, has a variety of items from toilet paper and hygiene items to packaged goods and baby food. Anyone can go to the pantry and take what they’d like or drop off items for others to take home, no matter the hour of day.
The pantry is part of Forward Indiana’s goal to reunite communities and encourage collective awareness and action. Co-Founder of Forward Indiana and creator of the pantry, Sarah Thompson, said the pantry is a way to feel supported, and support others.
Thompson said she started Forward Indiana because she saw the need for food in her area.
“People are hungry all the time,” said Thompson. “They’re not just hungry from 2 to 4 when food banks are open typically. Or, if they have an ID, or you know all the paperwork you have to fill out traditionally. So I wanted to start something that people could participate in all the time, 24/7, that was truly for everybody.”
Thompson said the variety of items offered at the pantry is designed to help those who need assistance with more than just food.
“You don’t know what someone is struggling with, or who they’re helping,” she said.
Thompson said she’d love to get 10 or more pantries started in Huntington County.
If you have questions about starting a community pantry, head to Forward Indiana’s Instagram page and click on the “how to start a pantry” highlight reel. You can also send them a Direct Message on Facebook with any questions.