Editorial: Ruby’s Pantry another example of Austin helping its neighbors

Published 10:41 am Saturday, September 21, 2019

Neighbor helping neighbor was on full display Thursday night, as people waited to make use of the opening of Ruby’s Pantry at Grace Lutheran Church.

Hundreds of people showed up to make use of the initiative’s 81st store. Quite simply, Thursday’s first pantry was an example of a community coming together. Not only were their hundreds of people showing up to receive the benefits of the pantry, but around 200 volunteers helped to make the whole thing go smoothly.

For those who might have missed Friday’s story, this is how Ruby’s Pantry works. For $20 a person can purchase a share. With each share that person receives between 18 and 20 items, which includes one meat item, one dairy item and one bread item each.

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The person paying $20 for the share can either use the food for themselves or share it with others, all in the effort to help stretch food costs.

It’s a push that doesn’t simply hand out food, but allows the person to take part in helping themselves or others. The $20 share cost is split up with $18 going to help Ruby’s Pantry with costs like warehousing, corporate donations, trucking items and other distribution costs. The other $2 stays with Austin’s Ruby’s Pantry, and as that fund is built up, the money will eventually be used to help those in need within the community.

This is another great example of paying it forward.

The good of the concept was on full display from the beginning as people from all around Austin signed up to volunteer. Those helping distribute the food on the third Thursday of the month are not only from Grace Lutheran, as those within the church are keen to point out that this is not a Grace Lutheran initiative. In a broader sense, this is an Austin initiative where everybody can have a hand in helping out.

We commend those working with our Ruby’s Pantry and hope the early success of this past Thursday carries over and over again.