Little community pantries help those in need in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Chattanooga organization is giving back to those in need by setting up little food pantries in neighborhoods.

People in Chattanooga are seeing little pantries pop up. Currently there is one at 1106 South Greenwood Avenue, 2000 Union Avenue, 351 Derby Circle and 1300 East 23rd Street.

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Iunike Stevens co-founded Helping Hands Community Pantry in honor of her mother.

“What we wanted to do was continue her legacy. Her house was always the house where everyone went to get food or clothes, anything like that. We were trying to figure out a way that we could continue her legacy and we wanted to do the pantries,” Stevens said.

Stevens was able to make this happen through a grant from Causeway. People can donate non perishable items or take what they need.



“People don’t want to go to their neighbors houses anymore to ask for anything. So we wanted to provide a place for 24 hours where people could donate what they had available and also where people could get the things that they needed,” Stevens said.

Neighbors say they like this concept.

“It’s a good idea. There are people that need it. People that made use of it. There are also people that donate to it,” Leonard Pell said.

They even use it.

“I donate every now and then. Sometimes I take items, but then I put items back,” Pell said.

The pantries are expanding to different neighborhoods. Next week they plan on putting one in the Eastdale area.

“People are definitely catching on. People are coming out and giving the things that they feel other people are wanting,” Stevens said.

Stevens says there are several upcoming events for Helping Hands Community Pantry. They will be accepting donations at Rock the Block on August 4 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Miller Plaza. There will be a cocktail mixer on August 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Event Room on Wilcox Boulevard. They also will b e at the 9th Street Heritage Festival on August 31 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kingdom Center on MLK Boulevard.

For more information about Helping Hands Community Pantry, click here or visit their Facebook page.