CALEDONIA – The alley adjacent to Angry Rooster Deli, 3178 Main St., is empty now, but in the next few weeks it will be home to a new food pantry aimed at helping others.
“I wanted some place private. A couple people offered to put it in their front lawns but I think that would deter people,” said deli owner Helen Serafine.
The food pantry will be a wooden box and filled with non-perishable foods. It will be similar to the “Little Free Pantry” that launched in Geneseo this spring, where people can put food in the pantry for others to take what they need.
“Anyone who has canned goods can bring it and put it in the pantry and close the doors and people can go outside and grab what they need,” said Serafine.
Serafine said she is hoping to have local Eagle Scouts help to build the pantry.
“We have already put it out there that it is going to happen, so we need to get rolling. I think the alley way is perfect,” said Serafine.
The idea for the food pantry, she said, came about after seeing an increased need among people in the community.
“We noticed so many people around here that are actually hungry. They come in here and order all of the time and say that they do not have any money and we give it to them,” said Serafine.
During the winter months Serafine said the need to help others was obvious but she said people in need, would not always show it.
“We noticed in the winter, we did a giving tree and people brought their old winter coats and hung them in the tree and we went through over a hundred coats. We realized that when we closed at 3 p.m. that people would come and take the coats. It is a pride thing and they are a little embarrassed,” said Serafine.
A bench outside was used to place handmade scarves and gloves for people to pick up.
“It kept getting emptied,” Serafine said. “You would see all of the people wearing the stuff, but they would get it when we were not around,” she said.
The pantry is also an effort that Serafine said she is happy to take part in.
“We wanted it outside and we wanted it to be a little discrete, so that people are not embarrassed,” Serafine said.
Along with her co-worker Kathryn Mailloux, Serafine will be checking on the pantry to make sure it is fully stocked.
“A lot of people have already said they will bring in food. I think that everyday that I come in, I will make sure it is straight and good and full. We come in any ways, so we can certainly take care of that,” said Serafine.