A press release from Lakewood Rotary.
On Wednesday, July 28, Lakewood Rotary dedicated a Little Free Pantry at LASA (the Living Access Support Alliance) at 8956 Gravelly Lake Drive SW in Lakewood. This Little Free Pantry (LFP) is one of seven pantries Lakewood Rotary has installed or incorporated in Lakewood since late December 2020.
All seven Little Free Pantries provide barrier-free access to food 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The pantries do not replace existing food banks. Instead they provide food and hygiene products around the clock, even when food banks are not open or are unavailable because someone lacks a photo id or proof of residency, which are often required at food banks.
“It is exciting to see the reception the food pantry has received,” says Janne Hutchins, Director of LASA. “It was well stocked by our benefactors and now we see recipients reaching out to contribute what they can. This not only helps keep stocking costs down,” Hutchins added, “it is also empowering to those who benefit from the pantry. Thank you Rotary.”
As champions of the LFP project, Lakewood Rotary provides construction, installation, and close to $300 for initial food. The neighboring communities have readily accepted the pantries and maintain them with ongoing contributions of food and hygiene items.
Each pantry has a host location and a steward that checks on supplies. The pantries are networked to share surplus supplies. Lakewood Presbyterian Church, the host of Lakewood first LFP, is serving as a warehouse. In addition to Lakewood Presbyterian’s support, Word of Life NW Church supports the pantry on 109th St. with excess items from their twice-a-month food bank.
“The slogan for each Little Free Pantry is ‘Give What You Can, Take What You Need,’” says Bob Zawilski, Lakewood Rotarian spearheading the project. “That’s exactly how this works. Neighbors helping neighbors,” says Bob. “For those who need food, this is a ‘no questions asked’ way to access food.”
The other six Little Free Pantries are located in neighborhoods where there is a need and a community willing to help.
- Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 8601 104th St SW, Lakewood
- Youth for Christ Family Center, 14511 W Thorne Ln SW, Lakewood
- Springbrook Connections, 12601 Addison St SW, Lakewood
- Crossroads Treatment Center, 4928 109th St SW
- Tillicum #2, 8409 Orchard St SW
- Springbrook Connections #2, 5506 Boston Avenue SW
Lakewood Rotary continues to look for new LFP locations and hosts willing to have Rotary build a Little Free Pantry on their site. If you’re interested in hosting an LFP, establishing a support connection with one of the pantries, or receiving additional information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.