Thursday, July 18, 2024

Minority Business Highlight: Indy Community Pantry

Starting in 2020 with the spark to create a change, DeAndrea Rayner established the Indy Community Pantry with the hope to help people struggling with food insecurity in her area.

Along with the five dry goods pantries, the refrigerators are take-and-leave, meaning you can take anything you’d like, and donations are free to be left if they are prepackaged and not expired.

While Rayner has been gaining traction on social media from her work in the community, she maintains that keeping the fridges stocked can be difficult.

“The food goes so fast,” Rayner said. “I can put it in there and it can be gone in an hour.”

With social media posts like the “fill the fridge Fridays,” Rayner works to encourage her social media following to donate goods and money to keep the organization up and running. Their “wish list” is linked on their page to help guide those looking to help.

If there are not enough donations, it’s up to Rayner to restock the community fridges and pantries. A task which, she explains, is difficult to do without the donations and support from the community.

“There’s not a lot of people doing stuff like this for us … There’s a lot of folks who could really use the food around here. Times are hard,” said David Gutierrez, a local who lives near a location of Indy Community Pantry on the Eastside.

While there may be some challenges to keeping up with the food stock, Rayner maintains that she will continue to support the people in the community because their stories inspire her to keep going.

“I draw inspiration from the community,” Rayner said. “The testimonials from the people keep me going.”

Aside from the current locations already in place, Rayner hopes to be able to put a free food fridge inside a school and to open her own free food grocery store one day. Both goals could not be accomplished without volunteers and community support.

“It’s just me and my volunteers. I continue to ask for support from everyone,” Rayner said.

The fridges are located at:

  • Christ Missionary Baptist Church, 1001 Eugene St.
  • Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFE), 8902 E. 38th St.
  • Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, 3009 Forest Manor Ave.

The pantries can be found at:

  • 29th St. and Martin Luther King Jr. St.
  • 27th St. and Harding St.
  • 10th St. and Denny St.
  • The Lakes at Crossbridge Apartments at 38th & Franklin
  • Downtown under the bridge by The Slippery Noodle

For more information about volunteering or to donate to support the cause, visit or @indycommunitypantry on social media.

Contact Staff Writer Hanna Rauworth at 317.762.7854 or follow her at @hanna.rauworth

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