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Panmure Library hosts community pantry

Published: 5 December 2018

Katie Wang (Library Manager), Hoko Livigistone (Senior Library Assistant), Adrienne Hodson (Librarian) and Claire Bews Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board staff member and donor to the Community Pantry

Librarians at Panmure Library have set up a community pantry to provide food for those in need.

Librarians sought advice from facilitators of a regular, and popular, Love Food Hate Waste workshop held at the library and, along with some good advice and early support from the Salvation Army, the community pantry idea came to life.

“The team had been talking about finding a way to help the community” explains Adrienne Hodson, a librarian at Panmure Library.

"There is an obvious need in the community, and because the library is a central point in Panmure, it seemed an ideal spot for a community pantry."

Space was made on the library floor and a bookshelf was dedicated to the project. With the simple philosophy to 'give what you can, take what you need', the community responded with great enthusiasm.

Adriane explains that “it started with just our team providing food,” but the initiative has begun to snowball and increasing numbers of people provide food for the pantry, “which hasn’t yet run out of stock!”

Children’s Librarian, Pranita Parsad, has been promoting the pantry on the library’s Facebook page.

“I think that speaking about the project on Panmure FM reached quite a large audience, since doing that there hasn’t been a day that the pantry has been empty, despite more people using it,” says Parsad.

“People love the idea and are really willing to contribute.”

Library staff have observed a steady stream of people quietly coming in and restocking the shelves and have received many comments of appreciation from people who have taken items home.

The Panmure Library Community Pantry initiative has created a lovely spirit of community involvement, which is perfect to share at this time of year and the holiday spirit.