Local Charities – Buchanan’s Little Free Pantries

Buchanan’s Little Free Pantries for February Coffee Chat Held at Buchanan Area Senior Center

by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer

On the first Wednesday of each month, senior citizens can come into the Buchanan Area Senior Center for a Coffee Chat with a local person of interest, business owner, school/city/government representatives, etc….February’s Coffee Chat was with visionary Ashley Hanson of Buchanan Little Free Pantries.

Ashley came up with the idea of having “freestanding little free food pantries, after working in the school and seeing the needs some children were having,” as she explained the “why” for the little free pantries. While “RAM (Redbud Area Ministries) has limited hours, and people have different job schedules, they can go to a little free pantry and see if there are items that they could benefit from when RAM is not open. This is not just for families of children in need, but as well as for the whole community, and the elderly are also struggling for some added help,” stated Ashley.

Buchanan’s Little Free Pantries chat with Ashley Hanson and Britni Wall at Buchanan Area Senior Center, Photos by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer

There are three little food pantries in Buchanan at these locations and are accessible 24 hours a day, every day:

  • 1523 Main Street on the side of the Buchanan Township Hall building (north side of Buchanan)
  • 122 Oak Street at the Mason’s Lodge (downtown Buchanan)
  • 704 W. Front Street at the Buchanan Nazarene Church (west side of Buchanan)

* BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) when you come to get something

These pantries have been provided by caring people in Buchanan. Ashley’s husband Andy made the Mason Lodge pantry in 2018, Girl Scout Troop #152019 turned a newspaper stand into a cute yellow pantry at Buchanan Township Hall during the summer of 2019, Buchanan churches: Buchanan Christian Church and Buchanan Nazarene Church built the pantry together at Buchanan Nazarene Church in 2021. The pantries are kept stocked as much as they can by the groups who put these pantries in place as well as our entire community!

How can you help? Ashley suggested, “If you have an item(s) at home that you do not need, please bring them to the pantries.” Canned goods, boxed goods that are complete meals, Mac & cheese, health care items, as well as baby and pet food are acceptable. Most items can be taken within 36 hours of being in the pantries. Food pantry donations can be taken to Buchanan City Hall, Buchanan Township Hall as well as the Buchanan Area Senior Center. When the Buchanan Farmers’ Market opens this spring season, you can bring donations for the free little pantries as well as RAM and be entered in a monthly market basket giveaway!

Live Here, Give Here…Little Free Pantry of Buchanan is a group on Facebook that you can join to stay updated on the little free pantries. If you need anything at any time, feel free to utilize these free pantries, that is what they are there for.

About Little Free Pantries of Buchanan: Little Free Pantry is a mission that has spread far and wide, that utilizes the concept of the Little Free Library. “Give what you can or Take what you need” philosophy to provide items to people in need, that may fall through the cracks of a regular food pantry or for whatever reason cannot get what they need elsewhere. This project is intended to help local food insecurity and create awareness of this issue to engage the community to help when they can to provide for a neighbor in need…Neighbors helping neighbors… Live Here, Give Here.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/buchananslittlefreepantries

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