Little Free Pantries in Fremont County prove to be a success, and continue to be renewed

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 11:04 PM CDT
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

Little Free Pantries have gained popularity through the country, and in our state. They have popped up in Laramie, Gillette, Greybull, and Fremont County. For Fremont County, there is one location that can provide for some of people’s needs at any given time. 24 hours a day you can come to Riverton City Hall and open the door, and come to the Little Free Pantry to take what you need, or give what you can.

“There’s no shame in needing it, everybody at some point has been hungry, and there’s no reason for it.”

Eric Carr, board member of Leadership Fremont County

The Fremont County locations are City Hall in Riverton, Mr. D’s grocery store in Lander, the Ethete store, and the Arapahoe clinic.

“Take what you need; give what you can, which is a perfect model. We’ve got a couple locations that are right outside of a grocery store. As people are leaving, they can pick up an extra can or two of soup when they’re on sale and put them in the pantry,” noted Carr.

The group behind starting these pantries is Leadership Fremont County, a program that develops young leaders throughout the community. At the end of their yearly program, a community service project is required. 13 members of the 2019/2020 graduating class opted to start the Little Free Pantries, and the inspiration came nationally from many others who spearheaded this effort in their own states and towns.

“We knew that there was a hunger issue throughout Fremont County. We wanted a project that was sustainable and that did not saddle us with an ongoing commitment post-graduation,” stated Carr.

An additional resource to those in in need, is the little seed library, located next to the Little Free Pantry at Riverton City Hall. Now, not only can people pick up food that is already prepared, but they can come and find seeds they can use to grow their own food.

“And we have noticed a substantial usage of all the pantries, they’re definitely getting used, which is great,” emphasized Carr.

And if a business is looking for a low-key community service project,  a simple one would be a small food drive and using it to stock any or all of the four pantries in Fremont County.

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