“Take Freely” at Ypsi Local’s U-Access Food Pantry

The spirit of giving and coming together in support of your fellow man— as well as a disco ball— can be found at 315 N. River St. in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town. On the front porch of the building is what is being called the U-Access Food Pantry, an open-air community resource where individuals who need food can visit at any hour and take what they require, and if they can donate, are encouraged to give something to others.

The porch/pantry was the brainchild of area realtor Tyler Weston and his best friend D’Real Graham. Weston had purchased the property and on March 18 came up with the idea of using it as a resource for those in need of food during the outbreak. Within 24 hours of discussing it with each other, Weston and Graham had launched a community support project called Ypsi Local, put the first food items out on the porch, and had begun giving help to those in need.

The pantry is open 24 hours a day to anyone in need of items— everything from canned goods and snacks to baby wipes and diapers. All products are disinfected before being placed upon the porch, and any perishable items are kept in coolers that are changed regularly.

The porch is regularly stocked by Weston and Graham, with new donations being made daily by generous souls from the community. All pickups are coordinated by Graham.

“Take freely, give cheerfully,” the sign in front of U-Access says. If you are in a position to give during this difficult time, contact Weston and Graham through the Ypsi Local Facebook page.

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