Church teens open Little Free Pantry

Amy Kim Kryemes-Parks, director of spiritual formation, joins Jessica MacMillan, interim senior pastor, and Lindsay Haren-Lewis, associate pastor, at the blessing of the Little Free Pantry at Fairmount Presbyterian Church.

A Little Free Pantry—an outdoor cabinet stocked with free food and supplies for those in need—opened on Aug. 12 at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, at Scarborough and Coventry roads. A project of the church’s middle- and high-school youth group, the 27-by-32-inch cabinet is located at the entrance to the church parking lot.

More than 1,000 Little Free Pantries are now open across the U.S., part of a grassroots project begun in 2016, by Jessica McClard in Arkansas, to respond to community food insecurity. In the Cleveland area, seven Little Free Pantries are have opened.

“Our teens were looking for a way to give back to their community and respond to pressing local needs,” explained Peggy Roberts, who helped spearhead the project. “This was a group effort of students and our Fairmount members and staff, and we hope our neighbors will join in this community-operated caring project.”

The church’s Little Free Pantry was built by Brad Richer, a member of the church; installed by Matt Kashuk, a structural engineer; and painted by youth group members.

The church invites anyone to donate by placing items in the pantry, which is always open. Recommended items are shelf-stable food (peanut butter, jelly, cereal, soup, pasta, rice, and healthy snacks), toiletries, first-aid items, paper goods, and small toys (Play-Doh and bubbles). If the pantry is full, donated items can be left in the Rubbermaid container near the church, by the entrance of the church’s east parking lot on Scarborough Road.

More information about Little Free Pantries is available at

Sarah Stone

Sarah Stone is a Cleveland Heights resident and an enthusiastic deacon at Fairmount Presbyterian Church.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 10:20 AM, 08.25.2020