The foyer in Waverly's Mary Immaculate Church is home to their Kindness Cupboard initiative, or a repurposed community pantry for families in need. The pastel pink and blue shelves hold grocery items, basic paper products, canned goods, and toiletries. Clemintina Hartson, founder of the local charity Project Kindness, makes sure that both donors and people who benefit from the cupboard can remain anonymous if they wish to.
Hartson said the location of the pantry holds a special place in her heart because she was a frequent visitor of the church. Fr Bernie Thomas OFM granted the initiative permission to host the Kindness Cupboard.
Fr Bernie’s support continues to be amazing,” Hartson said. “It’s a discreet location, just on the right–hand side of the foyer, and it’s also a really welcoming place that people feel welcome coming in to.”
“The increase in calls for support we’ve had since the start of the pandemic has been huge,” said Hartson. "There’s definitely a big need out in the community for help with the costs of living.” Since the initiative started and was boosted on social media in mid June, it's been getting plenty of use and families are greatly benefiting from the extra help. If all goes well, there may be more Kindness Cupboards popping up around the county.