The Doane Stuart School and the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County have partnered to create their very own Little Free Pantry. Students worked with the local American Legion to build the pantry and then installed a plaque on the unit marking its completion.
The Little Free Pantry is a movement that activates neighbor engagement of food insecurity. Their motto is to “Give what you can. Take what you need.” This motto dovetails perfectly with Doane Stuart’s community service values–to put what students learn into practice, and seeing the world through the perspectives of many.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Boys and Girls Club of Rensselaer, as well as the entire Rensselaer community on this project,” said Cecil Stodghill, Head of School at Doane Stuart. “We hope that this partnership serves as the first of many lessons in social responsibility that we may be able to share within our community, as well as surrounding communities.”
“We are very grateful that Doane Stuart School and American Legion teamed up to build a Free Little Pantry for our Clubhouse in Rensselaer,” said Justin Reuter, Chief Executive Officer at the Boys & Girls Club. “This pantry will benefit our children and families by providing a small source of much-needed food security. This pantry will also give local neighbors a new opportunity to support our Club.”
“Many of our neighbors across New York’s Capital Region have struggled—some for the first time and through no fault of their own—to put a meal on the table during this pandemic,” said Congressman Paul D. Tonko, (D–NY). “Thanks to the vision of these students from Doane Stuart School and their friends and organizational partners at the American Legion and Boys & Girls Club who worked together to set up this Little Free Pantry, that burden promises to get a little lighter. My congratulations and deepest thanks to everyone who has poured their heart into this noble and humane endeavor to feed our neighbors and ensure none of us get left behind.”
“Addressing food insecurity and making it easier for families to give and receive, is critical to our communities as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Neil Breslin. “I commend the Doane Stuart School, the Rensselaer Boys & Girls Club and members of the American Legion for creating the Little Free Pantry and providing another resource for those in need.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the long-standing issue of food insecurity in our communities. It is wonderful to see that the Doane Stuart School has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County to create a Little Free Pantry to help increase access to food assistance in our area,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III. “While the need for measures like this are especially recognizable and critical during a pandemic, we must continue to address the issue of food insecurity when the current crisis is over and fixtures like the Little Free Pantry will help to do that.”
“People helping people; neighbors helping neighbors; we are all in this together. Thank you to Doane Stuart for initiating this help to the City and the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Rensselaer County for hosting the site of this “Little Free Pantry,” said Rensselaer City Mayor Michael Stammel. “The location is very beneficial to all residents.”
This new Little Free Pantry will be stocked by students and community members, and available to all who need it.