Rancocas food pantry set to reopen after theft closed it; pantry seeking non-perishable donations

A woman whose food pantry was ransacked in 2021 is getting much needed help. During the pandemic, the woman saw a need and opened a food bank, which someone then robbed.

"I am so grateful and verklempt about the whole thing. When she told me, I just broke down crying," Linda Orsuto commented.

Orsuto started the food pantry in front of her Rancocas Village antique store. Someone complained about it, but a lot of people liked it. It grew and she needed more space.

"I decided to put it in my shop garage, which is part of my store, so I can get away with that and sell things out of there, too," Orsuto explained. "So, we just emptied that out and decided to make that the food pantry."

That’s when the pantry was robbed, in December 2021, canned goods, refrigerated goods, all of it. The need for food, however, remained. Enter Karen Fenton, but don’t give her any credit.

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"It’s a wonderful thing. But, I’m not doing it. You see these people? They are doing it," Fenton said.

Karen is Westhampton Home Depot community captain. She applied the pantry, named the Rancocas Food Pantry, for a grant to make it better than before.

Home Depot workers and volunteers laid down stone to smooth out the driveway. They’re putting in a new garage door to replace one with broken windows and a walkway. The walls are to be power washed and painted and the roof line gets a beautiful sign to top if off.

"Usually, we don’t have a lot of personal items you can use, like soap. Shampoo. Q-tips," Orsuto said.

Linda says the pantry will be up again Friday. People they know need it. Karen just wants to help.

"I see people all the time coming in with their little bags, just to grab a couple of things. I think, sometimes, you forget how many of your own neighbor and your own friends are in need. You sometimes don’t realize it," Fenton stated.

Anyone wishing to help can stop by the shop between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, with non-perishable food items, baby needs such as diapers and wipes; shampoo, razors and Q-tips, for adults at 130 Main Street in Rancocas, Burlington County, New Jersey.