‘It makes a big difference to people’: Spokane man fills up empty neighborhood food pantry

SPOKANE, Wash. — Feeding your family during the holidays can be stressful. This is the reality for some people year-round. One Spokane non-profit is working to make sure everyone has a meal on the table.

Heal Spokane started with a simple act of kindness four years ago.

“I found that giving back to other people was something that made me feel good about myself,” said Sather Gowdy, founder of Heal Spokane. “It made me feel like I had value and connection to this community.”

On Thursday morning, he saw a picture on Facebook of an empty neighborhood food pantry.

“There’s a lot of families that rely on these types of pantries to get from point A to point B — to get between paychecks,” Gowdy said.

He picked up food from the organization and stuffed the pantry near Monroe and Montgomery. A day later, Gowdy says a lot of what he dropped off was gone.

Before our interview with Gowdy, one person filled up the pantry with homemade banana bread. After we spoke with Gowdy, a woman drove by with a different donation.

“She comes by this pantry all the time and wanted to give back,” Gowdy said. “She donated $10 so we’re going to make sure the person who owns this box — set this box up, gets this $10.”

The neighborhood pantry is one of many places where people can get food.

“Unfortunately the need remains pretty darn high,” said Eric Williams, Community Partnerships Director at 2nd Harvest. “The last couple of weeks we’ve been really fortunate to be able to get a lot of food to then be able to put it out to your local food banks, your local food pantry.”

Gowdy says every little bit helps whether you are dropping off banana bread or bringing boxes of food.

“I think service should be easily accessible and I think when you do it that way you get so much in return,” he explained.

A simple act of kindness will make a world of different for your neighbor.

“I think if we just give a little bit things are going to be alright,” Gowdy said.

If you are looking for a list of food pantries, click here.

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