Rebecca Palmer is creating mini food pantries in Plymouth using old newspaper boxes. The pantries will serve as an emergency food resource for people in need. Staff photo by Santiago Flores
Rebecca Palmer is creating mini food pantries in Plymouth using old newspaper boxes. The pantries will serve as an emergency food resource for people in need. Staff photo by Santiago Flores
After moving back to Plymouth last summer, Rebecca Palmer decided to spearhead a food pantry service to help struggling members of her community — one that would have benefited her years ago as a single mother of five children.

Palmer created Caring Cupboards, a collection of six small, emergency food and household item pantries to be placed around Plymouth that will be open to anyone who needs the assistance. The cupboards, which are re-purposed newspaper vending machines, will be stocked by Palmer and community members willing to donate food, cleaning supplies and pet items.

“I know that feeling with having five kids, child support was always behind, and there was a couple of nights I had to borrow money from my neighbor because my check was still a few days away and the food pantries were closed at that time,” Palmer said. “If you’re working two jobs, you might not be able to go when the food pantries are open.”

Palmer based the initiative on 24/7 food pantry boxes, called Blessing Boxes, across Brownsburg, Ind. When she moved back to Plymouth, Palmer knew she wanted to bring the idea with her as well.

Recruiting her brother and the Marshall County Neighborhood Center to brainstorm ideas, they settled on newspaper boxes to use for storage because the boxes are weather resistant.
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