Ampersand Pantry–A Sweet Partnership

It started as a way to distribute candy at Halloween because we couldn’t do at our annual parade. We still wanted to see children’s smiling faces when they received candy so decided what better alternate place to do this than at the local free lunch pantry. We filled 400+ sandwich baggies with an assortment of treats and passed them out in the days before Halloween.

Bagging Candy for Halloween, 2021

That was so well received we thought why not pass out candy on other special days when children like receiving candy. Christmas was next so we handed out 500 candy canes December 23-24, braving the cold.

One candy cane at a time
The candy cane crew
Candy canes from a Kiwanian

Then we handed out 750 small Hershey chocolate hearts February 12-14 for Valentines Day.

At the lunch ramp before Valentines Day

Next we’ll pass out Hershey chocolate eggs for Easter in early April.

But handing out candy isn’t all we do. We started collecting gently used books, but Covid-19 got in the way of plans to hold an event with the Loudoun Literacy Council. Instead on Dr Seuss’ birthday, March 2, in Reading Across America week, we handed out books during lunch. (We didn’t realize the pantry had been getting requests for books so we left more books behind for when people ask.)

Distributing gently used books (in the cold)

We don’t know when this is going to end. But we’ll keep our sweet relationship with Ampersand Pantry going as long as there is a need!