Sioux Honey First to Donate to Nonprofit Supporting Little Free Pantries
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Sioux Honey Association Co-op is the first contributor to the new nonprofit organization that will power the grassroots Little Free Pantry movement. The co-op behind the Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s Raw and Unfiltered honey brands that represents 250 American beekeepers made its donation today to support the anonymous, 24/7 pantries that serve those who struggle to put enough food on the table.
Little Free Pantries take a crowdsourced approach to meeting immediate local needs by encouraging people to “take what you need and give what you can.” Jessica McClard, a mother in Fayetteville, Arkansas, started the Little Free Pantry effort in 2016 and today hundreds exist across the country.
“Sioux Honey is made up of local beekeepers and families who help their neighbors,” said Sioux Honey beekeeper Matt Beekman. “It could be that someone is struggling with homelessness, a person is living paycheck to paycheck or a family comes up a little short one month. We’re supporters of Little Free Pantry because it’s an anonymous option for these folks who just need a little help.”
In October, Sioux Honey Association Co-op members took time away from their hives to install central California’s first documented Little Free Pantries. Beekman was one of the beekeepers involved. The co-op’s donation of $5,000 will go directly to keep the new pantries stocked with non-perishable foods and necessities.
The beekeepers partnered with organizations in three cities for the project: the Los Banos Salvation Army, Modesto Sierra Vista Resource Center and ESA/Love Inc. of Fresno. The organizations house the pantries on their property and serve as stewards of the small wooden structures.
The website for the new nonprofit, Pantry Gift Inc., will launch later this year. It will serve as a hub for others to make donations and for the organization to provide micro-grants to those who build and stock the pantries across the U.S.
“Sioux Honey’s cooperative model centering on local farmers and families makes it an ideal partner in the work of the mini pantry movement,” McClard said. “On behalf of the movement, I am proud to call Sioux Honey a partner in that work, and I am so grateful for all Sioux Honey does to nourish our communities.”
McClard says more information on the rollout of the new online platform will be available soon. Those who would like to donate in the meantime can do so by reaching out to McClard through the Little Free Pantry website.
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