Community pantry set up for all
When Goodstart Early Learning Marrickville centre director Sarah Benjamin decided to focus on sustainability at her centre, she came up with the idea of community pantry.
And just two weeks in, the pantry is full of donations from families at the centre, with cans of soup, packets of crackers and breakfast snacks all on offer.
Families, and the wider community, are invited to pick up a pantry item as they need them, and then donate back to the centre.
“We basically set up the community pantry to support families and local community members,” Ms Benjamin said.
“We have been getting things for our service from the Marrickville Facebook Pay it Forward page and we thought it was time to give something back.
“We’ve had parents donating items to our service, such as cots and change tables so it was nice to think we could do something to help out others in the community."
Ms Benjamin said many parents were time-poor and didn’t have time to stop at shops on their way home so the pantry was created to make home time easier.
“We have some unique items in the pantry such as some Indonesian tea which was bought in by a family who had just been on a holiday there, and some decorated pencils from Fiji. There are multi-cultural items such as curry paste and also gluten free items.”
Ms Benjamin said feedback so far had been very positive with families saying it was just another reason why they liked sending their children to Goodstart Early Learning.
“It does help many people out – we often have older siblings grabbing a bottle of water if they’ve forgotten their water bottle.”
The centre has also approached Woolworths and is hoping they will be able to donate products for the community pantry.
Goodstart Early Learning Aspley has also created a community cupboard and has so far made deliveries to the After Dark Saints who help homeless people in the community. They are currently collecting blankets for winter and Easter treats.
“We decided that rather than just doing one collection at the end of the year we’d expand it and collect all year,” centre director Michelle Buchanan said.
“We collect all sorts of things such as non-perishable food and bathroom products.”