SEYMOUR — Parishioners at Trinity Episcopal Church recently opened the Blessing Pantry, located in the church’s parking lot at 91 Church St.
The inspiration of Kathy Faircloth and fellow parishioners of Trinity Episcopal Church, the idea arose out of concern for neighbors who might be experiencing unemployment or underemployment because of Covid-19.
The town of Seymour’s food bank is only open four hours a week, by appointment only. So, parishioners wondered what else they could do for their community and the idea of the Blessing Pantry was born.
The pantry contains covered bins filled with non-perishable food items, personal hygiene and cleaning products. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to anyone in need. The pantry volunteer’s motto is “take what you need, leave what you can, and go with God’s blessing.”
Ms. Faircloth said she thinks the pantry is needed, “Because there is too much hunger in the Valley and people don’t know about it. It’s everywhere, but nobody talks about it. We need to start breaking the silence about this problem.”
The pantry, because it is anonymous, takes the shame out of needing some help. “No one is ever asked to prove they’re in need; the pantry is here for everyone,” Ms. Faircloth noted.
There is also a suggestion box next to the bins of food, so people may request items they need; however, the number-one thing people leave in the box are not requests at all but notes of thanks. “This pantry is such a blessing to me and my family; thank you,” one user wrote.
Ms. Faircloth has plans of expanding the space. “There is such a need, we really are outgrowing the little space quickly.”
Volunteers, working alone, take turns taking inventory and stocking the bins. Pantry users and volunteers never meet each other, keeping everyone safe.
“Even when we give away homemade frozen meals,” something the church tries to do about every other month, “we put the bags right into people’s cars.” Meal Give Away Coordinator Betheny Hawkins said.
“Our neighbors need us, and we need them. They have given us a real purpose during the pandemic, a way to see Christ in those we may never meet, but know need our help,” the Rev. Patricia Pasley said.