What Can Grow From a Cabinet…

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Analysis from “An out-of-work chef has turned his garage into a food pantry that defies convention,” by Marika Gerken. 

Barney Corrigan lives in New Jersey. In an effort to support people in his community that have been affected by the caronavirus, he constructed a cabinet, stocked it with canned foods, and left it outside his house. 

The real magic came when he asked local families for support with his project. within a few months, he had enough donations to fill his entire garage. He currently estimates to help about 30 households per week. He has started a non-profit and is aiming to open a warehouses and establish an actual food pantry/soup kitchen. 

This article is in the Science and Techology category because I am particularly interested in the cabinet. Part of the purpose of this was to offer support without any of the social embarrassment of asking for help. This, however, was not nearly as effective as when he opened the convenient store set-up in his garage. 

There are multiple reasons why he received an increase in demand. First, by perceiving the place to have an abundance of resources, clients felt less guilty for taking from it. This can happen in food pantries as well. Although people struggle with food insecurity, they acknowledge that other people are in worse positions and don’t seek help for themselves. 

Another reason for this is the social aspect. Feelings of friendliness and community outweigh privacy and embarrassment. “Just talking with him was sort of like therapy,” said one of the regulars. As I continue to make progress with this project, it is important to keep in mind the value of a friendly experience.