BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — If you’re in Berwick or traveling through the borough, you might have seen these sort of wooden structures outside of buildings.
At first glance, they might seem like a birdhouse but they’re actually Little Free Pantries. Inside you can find items like non-perishable foods, hygiene products, socks, mittens, and more.
“Anyone that needs help can get those immediate needs right away. They don’t have to wait for our office to open. They don’t have to come in and go through paperwork for food or anything like that,” Ayrin Shortlidge, the Berwick Area United Way Community Impact Coordinator, said.
It’s a no-judgment zone – people taking items from the pantries are not asked personal information. The Little Free Pantries were created by the Berwick United Way. People can donate whatever they’d like. Shortlidge says community members helped build the pantries last May during their ‘Day of Caring’ event.
“Now we have 10 out in the community, which is wonderful,” Shortlidge said.
The pantries are individually decorated. During the ‘Day of Caring’ last year, it took five to six hours to build eight pantries. Shortlidge says they’re always looking for donations of materials to make more pantries this spring. She hopes to put them in front of all the elementary schools as well.
“Then it’ll kind of help parents and guidance counselors with those requests as well,” Shortlidge said.
Little Free Pantry outposts can be found at:
Berwick Area United Way
McBride Memorial Library
Berwick Teen Center
The White Birch Inn
ROCKY Boxing Club
Lark & Sparrow
The Hope Center
Summerhill EUM Church
Columbia County Family Center
Berwick Theater & Center for Community Arts