Neighbors helping neighbors

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Westminster food pantry free to all


Westminster Presbyterian Church is reaching out to its neighbors in need by establishing a small food pantry outside of its west entrance.

The idea of the pantry is similar to the Little Free Library concept, where a box is set outside of the structure and people can come and get food items as needed.

In Westminster’s case, the box is a reflection of the church itself and was built by Rollie Hanson, who has built a number of Little Free Libraries.

“I think we really just want to help out with our neighbors,” said Rev. Brittany Wundermachen, associate pastor at Westminster. “We just really care about the needs of people first and foremost.”

The idea was formulated by people looking for ways to help out those in need. One of those ways was through the creation of the pantry.

Then about a month ago, Hanson let the church know he would like to build it.

“We’ve really been embracing the five-block focus,” Wundermachen said. “Reaching out to the community and neighbors within walking distance.”

A group within the church will be working to continue stocking the pantry through donations  from the church or those coming from outside. They will also be working to ensure there is nothing in the pantry that could be damaged or explode during the winter months.

The effort is part of a number of aspects to the ministry that were recognized this past Sunday, including celebrating Pastor Michael Olmsted going on sabbatical and new teachers for the Sunday School, among other things.

But Wundermachen said the pantry is part of a larger effort of outreach by the church that strives to walk in Jesus’s footsteps by helping those in need.

“We want to do what we can to serve people,” Wundermachen said. “That’s just that mindset that we realize that we are all God’s children and we all deserve to be fed.”