The St. James Episcopal Church in Pullman started with a free children’s library in the summer of 2018 and by March of 2020 — as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold — parishioners pivoted from books to food.

“We were hearing and reading a lot about food insecurity, about people losing their jobs and there were delays in getting food benefits for people,” said Gia Gordon, church member and main organizer of the pantry. “So we put out a notice to our church members and said we’re going to convert this little free library to a little food pantry for … a short period of time and we’ll … see how it goes.”

Two years later the pantry is still going strong and recently expanded. On May 21 the church, at 1410 NE Stadium Way, had a ceremony to bless the new and improved pantry. The blessing took a few minutes and took place after the church service. Members brought donations to stock the pantry and say a quick prayer.

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