Huntington County welcomes first free community food pantry

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Roanoke community is making sure residents can take what they need and give what they can, this holiday season with the city’s first neighborhood food pantry.

The pantry, located at 443 Commercial Street in Roanoke, offers a variety of items ranging from toilet paper and hygiene items to packaged goods and baby food. Anyone can go to the pantry and grab whatever they want or drop things off for others to take home, no matter the time of day.

The pantry is part of Forward Indiana’s goal of bringing communities together and encouraging collective awareness and action. Forward Indiana co-founder and pantry creator Sarah Thompson said the pantry is a way to feel supported and support others.

Thompson said she started Forward Indiana because she saw the need for food in her area.

“People are hungry all the time,” Thompson said. “They’re not just hungry from 2 to 4 p.m. when food banks are usually open. Or, if they have ID, or if you know all the paperwork you traditionally need to fill out. So I wanted to launch something that people could participate in all the time, 24/7, that was really for everyone.

Thompson said the variety of pantry items are designed to help those who need help with more than food.

“You don’t know what someone is struggling with or who they are helping,” she said.

Thompson said she would like to start 10 or more food pantries in Huntington County.

If you have any questions about starting a community food pantry, head over to Forward Indiana’s Instagram page and click on the “how to start a food pantry” highlight reel. You can also send them a direct message on Facebook with all questions.

Norma P. Rex