St. Gertrude Pantry

“Neighbors helping neighbors.” That’s the purpose of a new Little Food Pantry at St. Gertrude Church, Krakow.

The pantry, located behind the church rectory in the parking lot east of Krakow Loop Road, was erected last week and immediately put into service making food and hygiene items available to anyone who needs them.

The project was undertaken by a group of longtime friends in the Krakow area.

“Take What You Need, Leave What You Can,” is the slogan for Little Food Pantries. This newest addition joins those at several locations throughout Washington.

While the focus is on helping parishoners and people in the Krakow area, the pantry is open to anyone and everyone throughout the area who needs help during these challenging times.

Shortly after word got out that the pantry was up, it quickly filled with nonperishable items contributed by generous parishoners, as well as members of the Krakow Friends group.

“The Little Food Pantry is accessible to everyone, all the time, no questions asked, no paperwork required,” said Karen Engelkemeyer, who proposed the idea to the friends’ group. “It is never locked and always open.”

The friends immediately embraced the idea and set to work researching how other pantries were started and operated. The next step was to obtain approval from the parish, then seek funding to help with the initial costs.

A grant from the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Gertrude helped cover startup costs. That was followed by a generous gift from Kevin Haslag of Haslag Steel, who donated materials and fabricated the post and pedestal for the pantry cabinet.

“We received help from so many people to get this project going,” Engelkemeyer said. “It was a group effort. Lots of good ideas and work on everyone’s part.”

Other members of the Krakow Friends group are: Darryl Engelkemeyer, Karen’s husband; Ed and Gail Pruneau; Ken and Chris Feldmann; Mike and Gloria Brinker; Charlie and Jan Brennel; Maribeth Gildehaus; and Diane Hellmann. They will provide oversight and manage the pantry.

Rules for leaving items and a list of nonperishable food items needed are located inside the doors of the pantry cabinet.