Home » Minden welcomes new Little Free Pantry sponsored by Walmart

Minden welcomes new Little Free Pantry sponsored by Walmart

by Amber McDown

Ethan Jeffus unveiled the latest addition to Minden’s community support network, the new Little Free Pantry outside the Broken Bean, painted in the signature “Walmart blue.” Sponsored by Minden Walmart, the pantry provides a 24/7 resource for essential items, including food, for those in need.

Jeffus’s passion for community service and his early experiences volunteering at food pantries inspired the project. “Ever since then I’ve asked myself, ‘How can we make food and essential items more accessible for those who need it?’,” Jeffus said.

Each Little Free Pantry has a designated point of contact responsible for its maintenance. Stocking the pantry is a community effort, with locals contributing nonperishable food and toiletries to support their neighbors in need.

The unveiling ceremony, blessed by Reverend Steve Berger of First Methodist Church, also featured Kathy Babers from Speaker Mike Johnson’s office, who presented a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Jeffus. 

Collaboration among several organizations made the pantry possible, including Louisiana Adult & Teen Challenge Program’s Broken Bean initiative, First Methodist Church, and Walmart. Ashley Miller, manager of the Broken Bean, invited pantry users to come into the Broken Bean for prayer and support beyond material goods. “Most of the people who are in need, need more than just food. They need prayer; they need to know that we care; they need to know that they are seen. We are inviting the users of this box to come inside and talk with us. Let us pray with you; let us agree that better times are ahead; let us get involved. Because maybe we can do something outside of this,” said Miller. 

Walmart’s involvement began last November when they volunteered to stock a pantry and subsequently decided to sponsor one. Walmart manager Ronnie Gray shared his personal connection to the cause, saying, “Years ago I went through struggles myself, and I needed some help.” Gray announced Walmart’s sponsorship of five additional pantries, showcasing the company’s commitment to supporting local communities.

Several different organizations have placed little pantries in Minden, providing vital resources and fostering community connections. Locations include Mercy’s Closet, the Farm at Cultural Crossroads, the Council on Aging, and now the Broken Bean. 

Jeffus expressed gratitude for the community’s support, acknowledging the Broken Bean for hosting the new pantry and Walmart for their sponsorship. The collaboration highlights the power of community-driven initiatives in addressing food insecurity and supporting those in need.

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