On Feb. 5, Paul Cress of Canton stopped by the Livermore little free food pantry, 3 Page Circle for a donut. He checked out the soup warmer holding chili but it had been emptied by other visitors seeking something warm to eat. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

LIVERMORE — Ryan Bergman likes his privacy but that hasn’t stopped him from stepping up to help those less fortunate in his community. His long-range plans include a 20 X 30 foot wooden building to house all he does now plus a clothes closet and wood bank to offer year-round assistance.

Last year Bergman held a yard sale to support the Little Free Food Pantry and Library at the corner of 3 Page Circle and Route 108 North. Mounted wooden boxes held non-perishable food items, reading materials and ideas for ways to help keep the project going.

A patio table with umbrella and chairs were added where hot coffee and homemade muffins were available daily. A covered refrigerator stored perishable items and two large crates made it possible for folks to leave donations of food and books.

Livermore little free food pantry has replaced a patio table and umbrella with this canvas gazebo. hot coffee, muffins and warm food items are stocked daily for anyone in the community to enjoy. An honor system is used to cover ingredient costs. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

Several times this winter winds blew over the table, scattering the air pot, muffins and coffee supplies. Bergman recently purchased an enclosed canvas gazebo that can more readily be tied down to withstand the wind and weather. Equipment has been donated or purchased to provide warm foods such as soup, chili or pizza slices. Sandwiches are also provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

An honor system was started last week to help cover the cost of ingredients. A suggested price is posted in the gazebo along with a lockbox where money can be left.

Bergman has a website where pictures are posted of what is available each day (Click on From the owner to access the page). He has created a GoFundMe page that can be accessed from the website, to raise $2,000 to keep the pantry stocked. He also hopes to raise $5,000 for the building fund, $2,000 for the library and $500 for a wood bank that would offer emergency wood assistance “to make sure people are warm on cold winter nights,” he said. He also wants to start a clothes closet and would accept donations for that project.

Last summer a man from Glen Falls, New York was riding his bicycle and stopped to learn more about the Little Free Food Pantry. Five months later he and his wife donated $975, saying they were “prompted by their hearts to do so.”

A thermometer gauge has been created to track donations. More than $1,100 has been donated to date.

Bergman is in need of food and non-food donations to continue providing the baked and cooked goods provided at the pantry. A refrigerator, upright freezer, clothes for the closet and materials and volunteers to help build the structure are also being sought.

Stefanie Pooley has knitted several hats for the Livermore little free food pantry. She is shown with the temperature blanket she created that tracks temperature changes from Oct. 14 to Dec. 12 last year. Each color represents a nine degree difference. Submitted photo

The Bergman’s former mail carrier, Stefanie Pooley has knit several hats to give away at the pantry. She also crafted a temperature blanket that indicates temperature changes between Oct. 14 and Dec. 12 last year. Each color on the quilt represents a nine degree difference in temperature.

Bergman’s mother, Donna Bergman said people talk, share details about what’s happening in their lives. She has helped some people get into shelters, delivered groceries to a lady who had just had surgery and couldn’t get out.

“A lot of really desperate people call me from other towns,” she said. “Other towns can take advantage of the pantry.

“Ryan’s the boss, this is his baby. He’s gotten lots of thank you notes, which is always nice.

“He’s so caring.”

Paul Cress of Canton stopped by the pantry on Feb. 5.

On Wednesday morning, Feb. 5, Paul Cress of Canton stopped by the Livermore little free food pantry, 3 Page Circle for a donut. He checked out the soup warmer holding chili but it had been emptied by other visitors seeking something warm to eat. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

“I’ve been here two or three times. My daughter told me about it,” he said. “She lives in Canton too.”

Donna said the pantry is open 24-hours, 7-days a week. Many people visit at night.

“Ryan has no idea of stopping. He has blossomed, is becoming social,” she said. “He never cooked anything before, is now making muffins, breakfast sandwiches and other things daily. I’m proud of him.”

 


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