UPDATE: Earlier this week, we told you about the ‘Little Free Pantry’ in Oneida that was vandalized, left completely destroyed.
Well, we have some good news! Because of the community’s support and more than $1,000 in donations, the pantry is being repaired.
The founder posted these photos on Facebook Friday night and hopes to have the pantry back up and running in the near future!
ONEIDA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Along Farrier Avenue at Higinbotham Park in Oneida, once stood the Little Free Pantry, a resource many members of the community who are hungry depend on.
The concept of the small wooden pantry is simple: leave what you can and take what you need.
However, on Sunday May 2, the Oneida Parks and Recreation Department found the Little Free Pantry vandalized.
The founder, Jasson Obomsawin and his wife, Jessica, are now left picking up the pieces.
“People are hungry and it’s very hard to see that people don’t think in that way,” — Jason Obomsawin
The walkup pantry is the first of its kind in Oneida. It’s geared towards those who may be too ashamed to speak up and ask for help.
“This kind of gives them the opportunity to reach out without having to go out and ask somebody,” Obomsawin explained.
Since 2019, the pantry has been vandalized multiple times. In the past, doors have been broken off and food was thrown across the street. However, this time, the whole pantry was completely knocked off its post.
I came to work and I also noticed the pantry was gone and the Parks and Recreation Department came by and noticed that it was on the ground, knocked over completely, and it was very disturbing to say the least.Jasson Obomsawin, Founder of Little Free Pantry, Oneida
But not even this is stopping Obomsawin and his wife from accomplishing what they set out to do.
“We are definitely rebuilding,” he explained. “We’re never going to move from this location because there’s so much visibility here. We do have plans to possibly have one near the police station. Although, there isn’t as much visibility there, it’s possibly more secure. We’re hoping to have three pantries which would be great,” Obomsawin said.
A police report has not been filed and Obomsawin still does not know who is responsible for the damage.