FORT LARAMIE – Today, in a collaborative effort to strengthen the community and reach out to those in need, the Here to Help Foundation of Wyoming and area residents will celebrate the installation of an open-box pantry in Fort Laramie.
The pantry is touted as being “for and by the community” and is available to anyone at any time. Ideally, it will feature non-perishable foods (no home-canned goods), personal care items, new socks and underwear, and books.
“These pantries are important, because we help a lot of people that, otherwise, wouldn’t ask for any help,” Richard Walker, founder of the Here to Help Foundation of Wyoming, said. Walker’s organization built and will install Fort Laramie’s pantry, one of eight the Douglas-based group has spearheaded throughout Wyoming since its inception in early 2017.
“There is no shame, no names, no bringing in earning reports – you don’t have to sign up,” Walker explained. “This takes all of that out of the game and just allows you to go get something you need (for) your family or yourself.”
When the project was still in the planning stages, Fort Laramie town officials and community members reached out to Walker, who then traveled to western Goshen County to discuss the pantry in person.
“What a great group of ladies,” Walker said.
The meeting was successful, and now, all are welcome to celebrate the fruits of their efforts. The pantry installation will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, at the North Park along Otis Street. Vickie’s Saloon will cater a hot lunch for attendees.
Organizers anticipate the pantry will be useful in a variety of situations, ranging from emergency responders looking for a meal or individuals saving a trip to the grocery store, to providing food for families or residents looking for a book to read.
Items that may be donated include: non-perishable food items bought from an inspected source (i.e. store); packaged items with the label and packaging intact; canned foods free of dents, rust, or bulges; unexpired over-the-counter medicine or baby foods; books; personal care items, including toilet paper, toothpaste, diapers, and Band-aids; new socks and underwear with the label attached or in packaging.
Please do not donate opened or partially used food or medicine; cut fruits and vegetables; meat, other than dried and packaged from an inspected source; money; homemade or home-canned products; or clothing other than new socks and underwear.
To donate, place items in the pantry. If the box is full, or for questions, call or text Jennifer Lanier at (765) 721-5154, or email [email protected]
The Here to Help Foundation of Wyoming is a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization. For more information, visit www.heretohelpwy.org.
“We’re just here to help our communities and those in need”