New Jersey man turns garage into food pantry for those in need

New Jersey man turns garage into food pantry for those in need
FILE PHOTO: A New Jersey man is using his garage to fight food insecurity in his neighborhood. (PublicDomainArchive/Pixabay/PublicDomainArchive/Pixabay)

WESTVILLE, N.J. — A New Jersey man is using his garage to fight food insecurity in his neighborhood.

Barney Corrigan, 42, works as a caterer and lost many of his scheduled jobs when the coronavirus spread, WPVI reported.

With more time on his hands, he decided to make a difference. He built a small wooden cabinet in April with a sign on it that read “Barney’s Place Food Pantry” and filled it with items for anyone to take, NJ.com reported.

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“I was just watching the news and saw how many people were losing their jobs,” he told NJ.com. “I figured it was the least I could do.”

Word got out. And soon he was flooded with donations. That’s when he had to get more organized and expand, converting his garage into a food pantry. The shelves are stocked and it is open to anyone who is in need from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday, WPVI reported.

“I don’t think anyone should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” he told WPVI.

The pantry has been a popular spot for those in need.

“Everyone that comes here, they’re like friends now,” he told WPVI. “I had two people today that told me it might be the last time I see them, and that’s awesome in a good way.”

Corrigan has realized how widespread food insecurity is since starting his pantry. He is working on forming a nonprofit and would like to move operations to a warehouse and help more people, WPVI reported.

“The biggest thing I get out of it is talking with people,” Corrigan told NJ.com. “They tell me their story, why they’re in the situation that they’re in, they bring their kids with them. It makes my week every time.”