PACK THE PANTRY: First Christian Youth Group to hold food drive next Sunday

Published 7:27 pm Friday, September 7, 2018

On the way to the grocery store this coming week, area residents may want to consider picking up a few extra items for a good cause. Next Sunday, Sept. 16, the youth of First Christian Church will host a food drive to stock supplies for little free pantries at the church and Rachel K’s Bakery.

“Last fall, there were a group of people that felt the need to try and do something for the homeless,” FCC Outreach Chair Debbie Ainsworth said. “They got together and came up with the idea for this food pantry, and at the same time, Rachel K was coming up with the same kind of idea.”

With the backing of the church group Christians in Action, the project took on a life of its own. Last spring, a group of students at Washington High School, under the tutelage of Beaufort County Schools Teacher of the Year Damon Walcott, received a lesson on food insecurity and challenged themselves to design a box that would suit the church’s needs.

“One of the members of the committee and I went out and looked at about 20 cardboard models that were really beautiful,” CIA chairman Lee Parker said. “We couldn’t decide on one, but we took design components from about five of them. The group took our suggestions and came up with a design.”

That design was in turn given to the construction class at WHS, who built the box. In turn, the construction class also created a 3D computer aided design model that can be freely distributed to anyone interested in building a box of their own. With a dedication in June, the FCC box has been a source of food for those in need throughout the summer.

In addition to non-perishable foods, the church has also been able to stock the pantry with fresh vegetables from its community garden during the season as well.

This month, in recognition of Hunger Action Month, the church’s youth group is reaching out to the community to help keep the pantry stocked throughout the winter months.

From 4 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 16, the youth will man a station in the church’s parking lot to collect donations. The public is invited to contribute both non-perishable foods and money be used to stock the box. Canned goods and dried goods such as beans and rice are welcome.

“We’re concerned about food insecurity,” Parker said. “People that are homeless, people that are hungry, the woman that rides up here on her bicycle and gets four or five cans of stuff for her evening meal; those are the kinds of people we are really concerned about.”

For more information on food insecurity both nationally and on a local scale, visit