A community pantry has been opened in Eltham.

Eltham resident Amanda Patterson says the idea is for people to take what they need and give what they can.

"I was friends with a lady in Foxton who started one and I thought this is needed in the Eltham community."

Amanda says she mentioned the idea to the Eltham Christian Harvest Centre asking if they would give some food to help it start.

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"It started off as a fridge donated by a lady who is part of the church. We found it filled too fast, so then Neil Shotter built a pantry for it."

While the pantry is not monitored, there are some people looking after it. Amanda says she is amazed how quickly the idea has taken off.

"The Nature's Wonder Daycare pupils often look at it and the teachers explain what it is. It is a great thing for kids to learn."

Amanda says the pantry is so successful, the group now has bigger ideas.

"What we have now is a small part of a bigger vision. We are hoping for a shed with a working fridge-freezer," Amanda says.

The pantry is not locked and is always open. Amanda says there is no judgement for those needing the pantry.

"It's a really positive thing. Hopefully it is filling needs and will continue to do so."

■ The Eltham community pantry is located at the Eltham Christian Harvest Centre on Stanners Street, Eltham. Donations are welcome.

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