PARRISH, Ala. (WIAT) — Coordinators of a new food pantry program in Parrish, Ala., say they want to do more than just provide free food. Their goal is to empower a community.
The new pantry at Parrish Town Hall is unique because it offers both dry goods and fresh food, only found in a refrigerator.
“This is the people’s fridge,” said coordinator and Parrish native Ryan Cagle.
Cagle helped to get the program off the ground, but tells CBS 42 the pantry belongs to this community. He says there are no qualifications for eligibility and you don’t have to make an appointment or check in with anyone.
“You might not be someone who lives in poverty on a regular basis, but stuff happens,” Cagle explained. “So, there’s nothing in this Fridge that’s not for everyone in this town.”
Set to be restocked soon, the pantry has nearly been wiped clean, having opened less than a week ago. Cagle says he’s encouraged by how many folks have already donated to the cause. He adds, this is also a place of learning for the community and an invitation.
“As we see, not just people fed, but people in communities empowered to love their neighbor, to work alongside each other, to be able to take whatever they need but also give whatever they can,” said Cagle.
Cagle says the percentage of folks suffering from food insecurity in Parrish is nearly twice that of the national average. Plus, he says affordable, fresh food can be difficult to find in some parts. It’s why he hopes to see the program expand to other areas of the city and throughout Walker County.