Multicultural News

Indy Community Pantry expands public refrigerator outreach

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — What started as a mission to address food insecurity is growing. The Indy Community Pantry has now added vegan options in one of its community refrigerators.

For families living in food deserts or a family struggling to make ends meet, their own home refrigerators may be a little bit empty. The pantry’s colorful community refrigerators are helping bring a little light to a grim situation: One out of every seven people in Indiana will face food insecurity.

“It’s really a blessing. Like when I first started, I never thought that it would go this far and the community has been a huge help,” said Deandrea Rayner, founder of Indy Community Pantry.

The project started by turning old magazine boxes into nonperishable food pantries.

“If this was around when I was growing up, it would have been a major blessing. Kids that are on the bus stop, they utilize it right before the bus comes. They go to the fridge or the dry good pantry.”

The mission has grown to include community refrigerators, like the latest one at 30th Street and Forest Manor Avenue. But this one is slightly different than the others you’ll find around town. It’ll be stocked with vegan options.

“I wanted something healthy. And so I got a lot of messages, ‘When are y’all going to have vegan options? I’m vegan.’ And you know, they still need help as well.”

She said the community uses the food but also helps keep it stocked and sanitized. That’s how they’ve been able to grow.

“Or someone is short on their check and they need something to last them until the next check. They can go to the fridge. And a lot of people have pride and they don’t want to go to food pantries. So a lot of the food pantries are utilized at night.”

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