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Brotherly Love: Spring Garden Community Pantry Joining Other Pantries To Keep People Warm This Holiday Season

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- In Spring Garden, a project is keeping people fed, and they hope it will also help keep people warm this winter.

"This is something that came from our wish list," Rachael Ketterer with Spring Garden Community Pantry said.

Outside the headquarters of SEIU Local 668 on Spring Garden Street, Ketterer is restocking the Spring Garden Community Pantry.

"Things go really quickly, so we know that there's a need," Ketterer said.

The pantry is just an unplugged, unlocked fridge. Residents started the project this spring and filled it with nonperishable food for anyone to take. This little food pantry on the sidewalk is always open, and always free.

"We're not collecting any money. It's people bringing things from their own pantries, or going to the stores themselves and just bringing things that they see people need," Ketterer said.

Ketterer and Teresa Rodriguez are two of the volunteers who keep it stocked.

"Food insecurity is a real crisis as a nation that, we as a community have decided we're going to take matters into our own hands, and we're going to do something about it," Rodriguez said.

The community pantry has an Amazon wish list and an Instagram page.

"This is our community request, so anybody can write whatever they'd like to see in the fridge," Ketterer said.

"We don't just consider ourselves a food pantry," Rodriguez said. "We allow people to leave all kinds of items that people might need, such as baby formula."

And that leads them to their newest project.

On Black Friday, they're joining other community pantries and fridges to collect coats and more, holding a Winter Wear Drive at 9th and Market Streets.

"Hats, coats, scarves, hand warmers, anything that you think people would need," Ketterer said.

"It is starting to get cold, and even if it's just a matter of some scarves that you no longer use, some gloves, that coat that no longer fits or is a little bit tight," Rodriguez said. "I know I have a couple of those."

Rodriguez says the community has been pulling together for each other throughout the pandemic.

"Life is best lived shared," Rodriguez said.

You can drop off new and gently used winter gear Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Fashion District Philadelphia mall at 9th and Market Streets.

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