Members of Hoping Forward stock a Little Free Pantry in Newnan: (from left) Marquis White, Erin Jarrell, Amy Ballard and Clayton Carroll. 

Salvation Army helpers keep ‘Little Free Pantries’ filled

Hoping Forward, a group of differently abled adults who enjoy being together and serving their community, worked recently with The Salvation Army Service Center in Newnan, Georgia, to stock Little Free Pantries in the area.

Local resident Brian Shelton built the first Little Free Pantry with the city of Newnan’s blessing “to provide a quick and easy solution for anyone going through a hardship and experiencing food insecurity,” said Nancy Langer, Salvation Army Pathway of Hope case manager in Newnan. 

The Salvation Army helps keep the pantries filled.

“Partnering with Hoping Forward has been a tremendous help as keeping up with the demand at the free pantry, which can be challenging, especially during the holidays,” Langer said. “This delightful, energetic group of young adults are contributing to the community in profound ways. We are connecting them with other agencies and developing ways for them to serve.”

Hoping Forward members work on independence and job skills and also have fun together; typical activities include bowling, art classes and Zuma. SonRise Baptist Church in Newnan hosts the program and encourages volunteering with The Salvation Army. 

The organization’s long-range hope is to establish a business that will engage the community, provide a safe space for people of all abilities, and employ adults with different abilities.

Little Free Pantry is a nationwide, crowdsourced initiative to provide for neighbors who are struggling. A pantry typically contains free food, personal care items and paper products. To learn more:

“We love filling the Little Free Pantries around Coweta County to help take care of those in need,” Langer said. “It is important for us to look beyond ourselves and our needs, to see the larger world around us and to show God’s love to our community.”