We all hear about it, and some even have to live with it: local individuals and families wondering where the next meal is coming from. It’s a devastating feeling knowing there are families going nights and mornings hungry, let alone being one who is hungry or struggling to feed other mouths. But there is hope. Communities around the country and in the County Journal areas are stepping up and finding creative ways to end local hunger.

David Howe, owner of Beacon Sales, is one local concerned individual who decided he’d do his part in fighting local hunger. Saturday, Sept. 1 Beacon’s own community food pantry will be open for donations and collection. The pantry, which is located outside the Beacon car dealership at 1285 Lansing Road in Charlotte, will be unlocked and accessible at all times for locals in need of food. The concept is simple: Place a small shed on a  heavily travelled road in the town, allow anyone to bring or take food items.

“The goal is to make sure no one goes hungry. I do not like seeing people going hungry,” said Howe.

But like any growing community, there are needs. Charlotte is a center for meeting many needs, and still the simplest things like food can be overlooked. That oversight didn’t set right with Howe.

“I hear of kids not having money for lunch programs, and it got to my heart. We need to have available food in the area for kids,” said Howe. “That’s what I believe: no kid goes hungry.”

Howe got the idea for the food pantry from other neighboring communities with similar programs and drop points. With the size and population of Charlotte, Howe figured it was time to make an addition. What’s more is the addition is completely local. The idea and placement of the pantry are local, the wood for the pantry came from Potterville Sawmill, the signs on the pantry were printed locally, locals will fill the pantry, and locals will use its contents. The community pantry at Beacon Sales is a completely homegrown effort to fight hunger.

The requirements for the pantry are fairly simple. Canned, non-perishable items are preferred, and users should be judicious in taking only what they need. Howe and his team at Beacon will keep daily track of the pantry’s contents, and provide other personal items like tooth paste and tooth brushes as need arises. Otherwise, the community is encouraged to donate freely.

Howe hopes the pantry will not only inspire the Charlotte community to give freely, but other communities as well.

“It can be hard to ask for food,” said Howe. “But it shouldn’t be that hard to get it.”