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Free micro-pantries helping to feed those in need in Autauga County

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 7:30 AM CST
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PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) There is a micro-pantry movement happening in Autauga County right now. The concept is simple: take what you need, and leave what you can.

District Judge Joy Booth and Autauga Children’s Policy Council Director Alyson Calhoon are leading the way.

“There are so many people dealing with unemployment and job changes and so there are so many families out there that are struggling right now, just to get the items that they need,” Calhoon said. “So, we just wanted to help support the local food pantries by building something that people can come to 24/7″.

Together, they built three micro-pantries in Autauga County. The current locations:

  • KimberLia’s in downtown Prattville
  • Billingsley Public Library
  • Prattville Public Library

“The beauty of this is that we can also move them as we see fit,” Calhoon said.

Lia Muir, KimberLia co-owner, said they’ve seen a lot of people utilizing the micro-pantry in downtown Prattville.

“There’s baby food, there’s formula, sometimes people put diapers in it, the community really does a good job at restocking it,” Muir said. “And, if it gets too low, someone from the Autauga Children’s Policy Council will come by and restock it, and people come by and grab things all the time, and people will sit right here and eat.”

“People will sit down right here and eat. Vienna sausages, all kind of stuff.”

The free micro-pantries are monitored by cameras and have been in place since July 2021. But, Calhoon said, they are here to stay, and they look forward to expanding and building upon the idea in the future.

For now, she asks that the community continues to support this initiative. When asked what they need the most at this time, her response:

“Personal hygiene products and quick food items like pop tarts and granola bars because a lot of people may not have access to an oven or microwave or have the ability to cook,” Calhoon said, “also, diapers and baby items are always needed.”

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