Fairfield Congregation Pantry Creator Hopes To Assist De-stigmatize Meals Insecurity – Victoria Information

A Fairfield woman’s vision for a communal kitchen has come true.

A new pantry in front of the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association building provides non-perishable groceries to those in need. It works according to the motto “leave what you can, take what you need”. (Courtesy Caitlin Boudreau)

With a grant from the City of Victoria, My Great Neighborhood, Caitlin Boudreau created a pantry outside the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association building. Based on the concept of the popular Victorian Little Free Libraries, the pantry is “give what you can, take what you need” with the aim of making groceries easily available to anyone who might need it .

Boudreau says it has been a busy place since it was installed two weeks ago – once the pantry was so full that an overflow basket was placed next to it for extra donations.

“It really warms my heart to see how much people are involved,” she said.

Boudreau, a registered nutritionist with the Victoria Cool Aid Society, applied for the grant through the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association. While leading the project, Boudreau says the pantry is owned by the entire community.

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“My goal is that it is not my pantry. It’s just something we all work on.

“Food insecurity is something we don’t always see,” she added. “Now with COVID, I think this has added another layer to the stress and maybe food insecurity for people who used to be a little bit safer.”

Boudreau said another goal is to reduce stigma.

“It shouldn’t be that hidden thing or something that people are ashamed of. I want people to feel comfortable when they come and go. “

The pantry is already filled with everything from coconut water to cans of beans to homemade jams and tomato sauce. Only non-perishable items are recommended at this time.

“I really want people to use it. The donation aspect was amazing, we have tons and tons of stuff, ”said Boudreau. “I really want people to go out there and grab some things.”

Boudreau said she dreams of one day expanding the initiative to something bigger. Right now, she’s hoping it might inspire other Victoria residents to start something similar in their own neighborhood.

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