Spring Garden Community Food Pantry joins other food pantries to keep people warm this holiday season – CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In Spring Garden, a project helps keep people fed, and they hope it will also help keep people warm this winter.

“It’s something off our wish list,” said Rachael Ketterer of Spring Garden Community Pantry.

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Outside the SEIU Local 668 headquarters on Spring Garden Street, Ketterer restocks the Spring Garden Community Food Pantry.

“Things are moving really fast, so we know there is a need,” Ketterer said.

The pantry is just an unplugged and unlocked refrigerator. Residents kicked off the project this spring and filled it with non-perishable food items available to all. This little sidewalk pantry is always open, and always free.

“We don’t collect money. These are people bringing things from their own pantry, or going to stores themselves and just bringing things that they see people need,” Ketterer said.

Ketterer and Teresa Rodriguez are two of the volunteers who supply it.

“Food insecurity is a real crisis as a nation that, as a community, has decided that we’re going to take matters into our own hands, and we’re going to do something about it,” Rodriguez said.

The Community Pantry has an Amazon Wishlist and an Instagram page.

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“This is our community request, so anyone can write down what they would like to see in the fridge,” Ketterer said.

“We don’t see ourselves as just a pantry,” Rodriguez said. “We allow people to leave all sorts of items that people might need, like baby formula.”

And that leads them to their new project.

On Black Friday, they join other community pantries and refrigerators in collecting coats and more, hosting a winter clothing drive at 9th and Market streets.

“Hats, coats, scarves, hand warmers, whatever you think people would need,” Ketterer said.

“It’s getting cold, and even if it’s just a few scarves that you don’t use anymore, some gloves, that coat that doesn’t fit or is a little tight,” Rodriguez said. . “I know I have a few.”

Rodriguez says the community has pulled together throughout the pandemic.

“Life is best lived shared,” Rodriguez said.

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You can drop off new and gently used winter clothing on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in front of the Fashion District Philadelphia mall at 9th and Market Streets.

Norma P. Rex