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  • Writer's pictureLONDON SKIES

The Little Pantry Making A Big Difference

Eric Cox has been running half and full marathons since 2009; he began using the, as he tells it, “talents God has given me to help charities I support” starting back in 2010. Eric’s 18th race (11 [26.2 mile] marathons and 7 [13.1 mile] half marathons) will be in Nashville, TN April 30, 2016. This race is dedicated to a charity near and dear to his heart, The Little Pantry That Could in Nashville, TN.

The organization has been serving the homeless and working poor community of Nashville, TN since 2010 after the historic flood wiped many into poverty. The charity opens its doors every Saturday to give out free food to those in need. All dollars that come into the organization go toward aiding people. There are no paid staff or board members. Eric also serves on the board of the pantry. The Little Pantry helps to feed close to 200 families a week. It takes right around $1,200.00 a month out of the organization to keep up with feeding so many in need. The pantry does not have huge backers that give financial resources on a consistent basis.

The Little Pantry That Could work with a very modest income and stretches it to the penny. These fundraisers keep them moving forward in service to the community they have adopted as sisters and brothers living on the streets; and, it helps those struggling to make ends meet. You can find the charity at www. ***The Little Pantry That Could is a 501(c)3 and donations are tax-deductible***

In short, their one goal is to serve their neighbors who are in need. The shoppers’ needs are very real and whatever way the pantry can help they do. Food provisions--fresh fruits and vegetables, and a variety of shelf-stable goods to anyone in need is the primary mission of The Little Pantry That Could. “We strive to make a personal connection with each shopper, letting them know that they are cared for and that they are important to us,” as stated by the Pantry’s executive director, Stacy Downey. She goes on to say, “Our neighbors in need do not come to us from just one demographic—they come from all walks of life. Diverse paths and life circumstances have brought them to us.” At this time, the pantry serves 155-180 families each week. Some are homeless, some live in cars, abandoned buildings, shelters or less than adequate housing. Some are parents of small children, some are employed, some underemployed, some unemployed, some retired. Some live close by, some are travelers. Some are shy. Some are outgoing. Some visit the pantry every week, some only visit with the pantry only once or twice. At the Little Pantry That Could, the process of shopping is very simple. Stacy states, “We do not ask shoppers to qualify or prove their need. If a shopper claims to have a need, we help to fill it. No judgment—no questions.”

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