The Little Food Pantry in Cambridge sits on a corner next to the United Methodist Church. It’s a small cupboard filled with food for anyone to take.
The small pantry stands as an example of a larger effort to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in the Cambridge community. Ronda Ceynar, a Cambridge resident and United Methodist Church member, said making sure everyone, especially children, have enough to eat is her calling.
“God has called me to feed kids. I have a passion for kids,” Ceynar said.
An opportunity to help children came two months ago when the school bus stop moved to the church corner. The bus stop is also near her home, and after seeing the kids waiting for the bus one morning, she came up with the idea of feeding the kids. She called her husband.
“He had the same idea at the same time,” Ceynar said.
Now the church feeds around 30 students at the bus stop every Wednesday at 7 a.m. Volunteers arrive at the church around 6 a.m. to bake pancake-dipped sausages and cinnamon rolls.
“It’s been really fun. It’s great fellowship for volunteers in our church and it’s a great outreach,” Ceynar said. “If you think you’re having a bad day, you should come start your morning with these kids.”
Ceynar and volunteers also round up food for the Backpack Buddies program, which is distributed through the Ballard Community School. Nonperishable bags of food are given to selected students to take home in backpacks at the end of each week.
The United Methodist Church is also the site of a food pantry, which opened in 1983. The pantry is run in partnership with the Cambridge Nazareth Lutheran Church and is open on Tuesdays, from 5 to 7 p.m. This year the food pantry received a grant to purchase a commercial refrigerator, which allows the pantry to distribute a larger variety of foods. Donations for the pantry can be sent to the Cambridge Fidelity Bank.
Ceynar is also working on another food-gathering event for next spring. Last year, the church partnered with several churches and organizations to hold a “Fill the Trailer for Ballard Backpack Buddies.” That event was held last April at the Fareway in Huxley.