Tuckahoe church hopes little food pantry will feed the hungry, encourage others to donate

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One South Jersey church community putting a twist on the idea of a little free library.

Sitting near the intersection of routes 50 and 49 in Cape May County is the Tuckahoe United Methodist Church. Out front is their latest service mission, the little free food pantry.

"It's based upon the premise of the little free library, where you can take a book or leave a book, and the same thing applies to little free pantry,” explains church member Shona Rutter. “If you're in need of something to eat, please come and take something, or if you would like to donate, leave something."

The congregation is embracing the pantry, filling it with non-perishables, baby items and even personal hygiene products.

"There is always a need for food. We've always had people asking for donations and asking us to help them with food and we always have, whether it's in the schools helping younger children out with paid lunches, or helping adults who would stop by the church or leave a message and say ‘Hey I'm hungry. I'm down on my luck right now. How can the church help us?’ So, this basically complements what we've been doing all along," says Pastor Will Walters.

"People are constantly stopping and dropping off, as well as people who are in need coming and taking,” Rutter says.

The pantry pretty much runs itself. Rutter and other members stop by a few nights a week to make sure it's in order and re-stock it if needed, all while giving those who want to remain anonymous a chance to feel supported by the community.

"There's no judgment. Just come, take what you can and leave something if you feel the need to do so," Rutter says.

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