Dickinson resident, business owner work together to fill little free pantries

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Many communities have little free pantries, where people can donate food or toiletries to those in need.

Dickinson resident Jackie Ewoniuk says the items disappear from the shelves almost as soon as they’re dropped off.

She stops by this little free pantry often to drop off her food donations.

“I usually try and do meals, I’ll do tuna casserole, and noodles, and cream of mushroom soup, so you have a meal, or spaghetti,” said Jackie Ewoniuk, Dickinson.

She says since the Coronavirus Pandemic started, she fills the pantries several times a week. But recently, she’s noticed the alarming need for more donations.

“My granddaughter and I went on Tuesday, and we filled three of them, said Ewoniuk. Out of curiosity a couple hours later I drove by, and one was totally empty.”

Ewoniuk talked to her friend Mallory King about the need.

King is a business owner with her sister at Aloha Tan, and says they also noticed.

“She does this with her family once a week and she made a comment on how much quicker items are being taken than normal,” said Mallory King, Aloha Tan.

It’s why they decided to run a special at the business to collect donations. King says if you bring in five canned goods or boxed items, you can get forty percent off a tan package or any of their retail items.

The special started Monday and they already have dozens of donations.

Ewoniuk is working on getting other businesses on board to help fill the need.

“I believe that if you’re blessed, pay it forward and help those who aren’t as lucky as you are,” said Ewoniuk.

“If we’re fine and we have food in our cupboards, we want to make sure other people do,” said King.

The special will continue as long as they get items in. King says they will take the donations and distribute them to the seven little free pantry locations around the city.

The little free pantries are located in the following locations.

St. John’s Lutheran Church - 146 6th Avenue West

St. Luke’s Nursing Home - 242 West 10th Street

Peace Lutheran Church - 1550 21st Street West

Nodak Insurance - 2898 5th Avenue West

Nodak Insurance - 2717 3rd Avenue West

Engage Church - 706 5th Avenue Southwest

The Brew - 215 Sims Street

The Amen Food Pantry is also in need of donations, specifically eggs, canned goods, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dish soap, and laundry detergent.

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