Lions Club initiates food pantry project in Bridgewater


  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>The Bridgewater and Area Lions Club have placed a food pantry outside of the Souls Harbour Rescue Mission located on Pleasant Street in Bridgewater for those that may need a hand-up. Shown here in the photo, from left to right, are Lions Darrin Hutchinson, Tammy Paulin and Peter Wagner with Soul&#8217;s Harbour Rescue Mission representatives John Christensen and Jennifer Parnell.</p>

BRIDGEWATER – The Bridgewater and Area Lions Club has teamed up with Soul's Harbour Rescue Mission to bring in an outdoor food pantry to town.

"We see the need here. Even if it's just a box of Kraft dinner that someone may need," said Lions' member Darren Hutchinson. "Instead of going to fill out paperwork and have the stigma of going to the food bank. We feel this may be a better option. It will always be open, and people can drop off or pick-up anything they need at any time."

Hutchinson said it was his cohort, Tammy Paulin's idea who saw the project happen in another location.

Between the staff at the mission and Lions' members they hope to keep it stocked up as well as they can. He's also hoping members of the community will come onboard as well and help in any way they can.

Although, at this point, the pantry is just a pilot project, but Hutchinson said he can't see why it wouldn't yield some positive feedback. He says plans are already in the works to enlarge the pantry and possibly insulate it. Adding more locations is also another possibility.

The pantry was installed just before Halloween and John Christensen, manager of Soul's Harbour says that it's been a busy spot.

"Our clientele has been using it quite a bit. We (Soul's Harbour) and the Lions are filling it up three or four times a day. It is being well used."

As far as security is concerned, he said there has been no issues and people have been respectful.

Hutchinson recognizes that "hunger is an ever-growing problem," he said, adding that he is not too worried about possible misuse. "Our thought is, if they take it, they need it."

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