The pantry is a mere handful of days in operation as six-year old Hunter and his stepmother Caitlin VanKoughnett seek to fill a need in the Wainwright area.
Families in need now have another option to obtain essential food items as Hunter’s Little Pantry will add to existing capacity that includes the local food bank. As well those who wish to donate can leave them in the cupboard located on First Avenue.
With the words, ‘Take what you need, leave what you can,’ posted on the community food cupboard, VanKoughnett says she got the idea from a social media post.
“I was scrolling on TikTok one day and there was a lady in Vancouver who had a community pantry. I just thought that would be an awesome idea for our little community. I know the food bank hours in Wainwright are pretty limited and people might not have access to it. So my stepson and I thought we wanted to bring it [a community pantry] to Wainwright.”
Hunter’s Little Pantry is on First Avenue just in front of Wainwright Dental opposite Park and Trestle Restaurant. VanKoughnett has lived in Wainwright all her life and shares that as the community gets on board, they are looking for more locations.
“I talked to the Town of Wainwright and we are just awaiting approval for some other locations. So the goal would be to have a bunch of different ones and I spoke to the Library and I think they are going to host a spot. But so far so good. We have put animal food, diapers and baby stuff and all that was taken. So there clearly is a need.”
Looking at the level of need, VanKoughnett says people have been very respectful so far of the family initiative. She shares how much Hunter is committed to the pantry.
“He’s in Kindergarten. He’s pulled money out of his own money in his piggy-bank to buy some toys to put in it [the pantry]. So we are really proud of him.”