Chattanooga, TN-based vegan butcher Your Local Seitanist recently launched a community pantry that allows those in need to pick up pantry items for free. Your Local Seitanist owner and chef Linley Danielle told VegNews that she created the pantry to supply snacks and meals for children of low-income families while schools are closed during the COVID-19 quarantine—knowing that many parents would be facing layoffs during this period. She started with a $200 Sam’s Club order, which quickly turned into $1,000 trips daily to restock. “Once the community saw what we were doing, they immediately asked to financially support some of our shopping trips,” Danielle told VegNews. “We created a listing on our online store and donations started to pour in left and right. Thanks to the support of our local and online community, we can continue this, hopefully through the next month while schools are closed.” So far, Danielle has been able to feed approximately 165 families in just four days, in addition to handing out 189 snack packs filled with lunch and snack items for children to eat through the week. “I’m hoping to triple those numbers by next week once funds continue to get tighter and families need more assistance,” Danielle said. In addition to the free pantry, Danielle has raised nearly $4,000 for a Chattanooga Service Industry Fund to help industry workers facing layoffs during this difficult time.

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