Watertown family turns front yard into food pantry

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 12:25 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Driving down Schley Drive in Watertown, you might expect to see a lemonade stand or garage sale on the side of the road. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's a food pantry.

"It started with an idea from my daughter Saturday evening that people that we know, hard working people are not getting paychecks, they're not allowed to work and they're hurting. They have no food now. So, she said, 'Dad, we have to do something,'" said Trevor Phillips.

So, the Phillips family decided they'd put out food in their front yard for people to come and take what they needed.

On Tuesday, they had everything from eggs and bread to canned goods and pet food on tables, in coolers and laid out on the front yard.

Trevor took to Facebook to let people know what they were doing and 2,200 shares of a post later, they had people showing up nonstop since they set up at 8 a.m.

"I really only expected a few people to come by throughout the two days that we're going to do this but so many people have come by and almost all the food is gone," said Logan Phillips.

And it was no small amount of food. Ahead of Tuesday, the family had donations pouring in from friends and was able to purchase $1,200 worth.

There were also food donations from Renzi Brothers and Savory Downtown. Throughout the day, more food kept showing up as community members, who heard what was happening, dropped it off.

The Phillips say they just wanted to help out during a difficult time..

"It was eye-opening what I saw today. I know the food banks are hurting and I saw it first-hand today, just how fast it's going, all walks of life came to this sidewalk today, so basically if you're not going to help now, when will you ever help. It's bad now," said Trevor.

Whatever’s left over Wednesday morning, the Phillips plan to bring to food pantries, but they don’t expect there will be much left.

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