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The Soul Pantry

The Soul Pantry was inspired by an NPR article that was making its way across Facebook walls. We saw the article and jumped at the chance to do good and create some positivity in our neighborhood.

Just like “The Little Free Pantry” the KC Soul Pantry is a neighbors helping neighbors – a local place that provides access to food 24/7 giving the community a direct way to come together and support one another.

Create Your Own

Part One: The Pantry
Originally we went to our local ReStore store and found a deep skinny rectangular kitchen cabinet and a large rectangular floor tile to act as a roof.

After a few months of use, it became obvious that we needed a different pantry concept. The original pantry was too deep and hard for people to get supplies out of especially at night. Also our makeshift pantry was problematic in duplicating and others want to host their own pantry.

Taking all of this into consideration the KC Soul Pantry has gone red (this cabinet from IKEA). Because assembly is required and because we would like the Soul Pantry to be recognizable, we are now offering to supply the panty for those interested in hosting a panty.

Part Two: Hosting A Pantry

If you are interesting in hosting a KC Soul Pantry and don’t want to get into the logistics we are here to help you help others.

For $50 we will deliver a KC Soul Pantry (which includes a light, the sign, a gift card pocket, and can to get you started).

For more information email us at KCSoulPantry (at) gmail (dot) com

Part Three: Stocking the Pantry

We stocked the pantry with a mixture of ready to eat foods:

  • Canned meat
  • Beef jerky
  • Granola bars
  • Juice boxes/pouches
  • Water bottles

As well as easy to prepare foods:

  • Soups
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Rice
  • Beans etc

We also included non-food items:

  • Blankets (one of the first items to go)
  • Hats / scarves (for winter)
  • Books & notebooks & pens
  • Soap & shampoo (travel sizes)
  • Reusable grocery bags
  • $5 Gift cards to a local grocery store

Part Four: Promoting the Pantry

How to get the word out? We attached a sign on the outside and the inside of the pantry, to advertise what we were all about. (Print your own Soul Pantry sign) We covered up the sign with plastic to keep it nice during wet/ snowy weather. It took about 4 days before items were discover missing from the Soul Pantry – blankets and canned meats were the first items to go!

We also used the following to promote the Soul Pantry:

  • The Neighborhood Next Door App
  • We created a Facebook Page and shared the information on it with our friends
  • We mentioned the Pantry on the Neighborhood Facebook Page
  • We are also getting the word out to local churches and schools

The Next Door App has been the best way for us to connect the KC Soul Pantry with our neighbors. This app allowed conversation with both those in need and those who wished to contribute some items to the Pantry.

*  Side Note: We would love to promote your KC Soul Pantry. Email us with the location we will include your KC Soul Pantry on our Facebook Page.

Part Five: Management of the Soul Pantry

We check the Soul Pantry twice a day (morning and evening) to

  • Record activity
  • Restock missing items
  • Take a picture to share on Social Media
  • Reorganize the inventory

Part Six: Thank Your Soul Pantry Sponsors 

We like to make a weekly post that thanks those who have donated to the Soul Pantry to sincerely thank them and also to slyly advertise the pantry to everyone again, in case there is some one who needs to know about it.

Thinking about becoming a KC Soul Pantry Host?

1. You need a place for the pantry.

So either on your own property or permission to have one on another property — say the church you attend or if you rent, your landlord’s permission.

Also check with your city and homeowner’s association for restrictions.

2. As a host it is your responsibility to keep the pantry stocked, keep the pantry clean, and a safe place to take items. Having said all that, accepting donations and getting your block or street involved is part of the vision.

Neighbors helping neighbors is the the driving force of this tiny but mighty movement.

If this is so you — then lets get started!

Questions? 

For more information email us at KCSoulPantry (at) gmail (dot) com