Little Food Pantry:
The very first Little Free Pantry was established in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in May 206. Imagined as a result of jogging by small neighborhood lending library boxes, Church Council President Jessica McClard put her vision into action, placing the first food pantry outside Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. As a result of Facebook coverage, there are now over 1,800 mapped pantries in 6 countries. Their message of "Give what you can, take what you need" has touched the hearts of so many, providing a concrete way to show Christ's love "to the least of these" and a lifeline to those facing the reality of food insecurity.
Bethany Outreach and Advocacy Team (BOAT) became aware of this food assistance movement in early 2019. Study of the Fayetteville pantry and subsequent projects in Austin added information to our initial curiosity. A providential encounter with an actual pantry outside of the Family Crisis Center in Alpine, Texas, and conversations with the organization gave lift to our dreams of establishing something similar in Fredericksburg. Lifeboat little free food pantry became a reality on January 28, 2020, launched with a community "Spud Night" and blessing outside the Hennig House at 114 West Austin Street. Articles in the Fredericksburg Standard and word-of-mouth promotion have been used by the Holy Spirit to bring about the formation of additional boxes at the Bridge Church and other locations in our community and Stonewall.
Church members and others are encouraged to drop off donations of non-perishable food items and new, individually wrapped toiletries. Donations may be placed directly in Lifeboat or in the storage bench located on the porch of the Hennig House. Members of BOAT monitor and stock Lifeboat daily, insuring that items are safe, appropriate for community use, and promote a healthy diet.
Fredericksburg is blessed to have several opportunities to help meet the needs of those who face food insecurity. Lifeboat little free food pantry has filled a space for those who may be too reticent to go to a larger outreach organization, or who have exhausted those opportunities and still need more. Our heavenly Father has indeed blessed this congregation with the opportunity to share his love with those who are in need in a very real way. Thank you for considering being a part of this mission in whatever way you can.
God is good!