A Free Pantry Opens In a Fort Scott Neighborhood

The Warner’s  Little Free  Pantry at 4th and Holbrook Street.
A couple of Fort Scottians saw a need in their neighborhood and decided to help meet it.
Chase Warner and Whitney Wratchford purchased their house last summer and immediately saw the need within their neighborhood for some food assistance.
“Chase and I have had this on our hearts since we first became homeowners in our community,” she said. ” We noticed immediately that our own neighborhood was in need of a little help. We were seeing children daily that would make comments like ‘Can I have a banana? I had Ramen Noodles for breakfast.’ And ‘My mom doesn’t have money to buy us dinner.’ We know that this problem isn’t just in our neighborhood but all throughout our community and when the Covid-19 pandemic really hit hard and people started to lose jobs we set out to put the pantry up as soon as the stay-at-home order lifted! Chase and I just really wanted to help and the best way was to provide food that any individual could choose from on their own time and when they feel comfortable.”
Warner’s Little Free Pantry is located at 4th and Holbrook Street.
“We ourselves are a working-class family and have at times in our lives struggled to provide as well and knowing the heartache that those parents and children are feeling just put our plan in motion,” she said. “I have since seen our pantry helping lots of people and lots of people helping fill the box! That is exactly how the pantry should work!”
They opened Warner’s Little Free Pantry on June 6, 2020.
It is a box on a stand that contains numerous items for the taking: food, hygiene items and other shelf-stable items that can stand Kansas temperatures housed in a box.
“Take what you need,” Wratchford said. ” Leave what you can. Above all be blessed! We ourselves donate whenever possible and just hope that others will decide to donate as well. The pantry is open for donations for nonperishable food items and various toiletries and household items. If anyone has any questions or concerns they can reach us via email, phone or on our Facebook page Warner’s Little Free Pantry.”
The inside of the Warner’s Little Free Pantry on Wednesday afternoon.
Wratchford stumbled across a grassroots movement and decided this would help fill that need.
The Little Free Pantry is a grassroots, locally sourced solution to local need, Wratchford said.  “Whether a need for food or a need to give, our mini pantry helps neighbors feed neighbors, nourishing neighborhoods. It is meant to meet immediate needs for families or individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. “
“Jessica McClard launched the movement in May 2016 in Fayetteville, AR,” Wratchford said. “Since that time there have been many families like ours, building and opening little pantries of their own…. We used wood we purchased for our fence and Chase and his dear friend Lincoln Brubaker built the box in a day! “
“The box sits on 4th Street between Holbrook and Eddy facing north., she said. “If you need to use GPS to find us you can program 314 W. 4th St. You can’t miss it!”

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