"GMA" celebrates the heroes who rose to challenges on the front lines, in the classroom, in their communities and beyond amid the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
One rural community created a pop-up pantry to help provide everyday essentials for neighbors in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A family in Delaware, Ohio, spruced up a small school bus shelter off a country road with fresh paint, a roof and signs. They then joined forces with another local family to stock it with non-perishable necessities: canned goods, dried foods and small refrigerated items like eggs, dairy and produce.
The Pop-Up Pantry Facebook page, which was created on April 4, regularly posts updates with photos of items and details of what's available and what's needed.
Amanda Bird told ABC News she reached out to a group of moms on Facebook "asking if anyone had a blessings box in our area" and teamed up with Michelle Mauk who told Bird about the unused bus shelter in her front yard "that would be perfect" for a pop-up pantry.
Mauk told ABC News the idea was based on her son Lucas' Global Scholars program, which helps address global cultural issues locally. His "Capstone project was based around food insecurity," she said.
The high school junior's initial efforts with a local church were "cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions" and they "talked about how else we could help, given the massive change in all our lives," Mauk explained.
Mauk said Bird brought a homemade sign and a mini fridge donated by another friend "and the Pop-Up Pantry was born."
- 1March 17, 2020
Bird said that Mauk, a substitute teacher at her daughter's school, "checks the pantry multiple times throughout the day" which has become like "a full-time job for her because of the coming and going of those dropping off and picking up."
"We have seen such an amazing response from the community to help provide for others," Bird said, adding that they've now received monetary donations to help run the temporary service. "People have been donating everything from baby wipes, canned goods, frozen hams, turkeys, chickens, milk, eggs, feminine care projects and even Easter baskets for the little ones. It has been amazing."
"People just want to help. Someone is even coming by today with homemade masks for adults and children," Bird added.
"The response in this community has been amazing. Every time I check, something is gone and something else is in its place," Mauk said. "It is wonderful to see so many giving, even those who don't have much to give usually bring something to contribute when they get what they need."
She continued, "[There are] so many stories of hoarding, and people making selfish choices during this pandemic, but here we have seen the good in people. My children have seen all this take place, and we have had the opportunity to discuss how to look for the good in any situation because of the pantry."
Editor's note: This was originally published on April 14, 2020.