LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A confirmation class with the Christ Episcopal Church in La Crosse spent their Sunday serving the community. First News at Nine’s Phoebe Murray has more on how the ‘The Little Free Pantry’ service project came to be.

Five newly confirmed members of the Christ Episcopal Church in La Crosse are stocking the pantry shelves for their community.

Confirmation teacher Lee Donahue says the group redirected focus towards the residents of Washburn.

“They were thinking about doing a lot of tutoring and things in the schools but unfortunately when the schools failed to open that kind of fell through,” said Donahue. “The need actually is food, there’s a lot of food insecurity I think that COVID-19 has worsened the problem with food insecurity and so they decided to build a little free pantry!”

8th grader Tim Barrett made several pantry designs before the church picked a winner. Barrett says giving back to local students and neighbors was exciting.

“In our confirmation class we heard that we were the hands and feet of Jesus and that means that we have to help others in today’s world,” said Barrett.

And today, the pantry began being filled.

“We’re stocking it with non-perishable food items such as pasta, Mac n Cheese, rice,” said Barrett.

Along with several personal hygiene items, free for the community to use. The church welcomes anybody to bring donations to their shelves.

Donahue says among several other community-driven initiatives this was a way the ministry could give-back despite their church’s doors being temporarily closed.

“You really get to see young people grow and it empowers them to let them know despite their age they really can make an impact on their community, hopefully later on today, people in the neighborhood will start taking advantage of it,” said Donahue.

For more information on Christ Episcopal Church, you can visit their page here: