Neighborhood Pantry Dedicated to Local Girl Helps Combat Hunger in Payson
Tucked behind the sidewalk on 1175 East 100 North in Payson is a bright pink box standing about 4 feet tall.
The glass door on the front is labeled with the words “Kamy’s Neighborhood Pantry,” and there are various food items inside.
Many people in the community still don’t know what the box is for, and Mariela Rawlinson wants to change that.
Rawlinson is a mother of six in a blended family.
She is originally from Argentina and moved to the United States at the age of 13.
She currently lives in Payson, where she owns and operates a daycare with her mom and sister called Inquiry Academy.
In the summer, the daycare also offers summer camps and service projects.
When Rawlinson bought the building where Inquiry Academy is now located, she eagerly set up Kamy’s Pantry on the property.
The pantry is dedicated to her daughter, Kamilla Rawlinson, who lived from 2008-2015.
Each year, Rawlinson dedicates various service projects to the memory of her sweet girl. Often, Rawlinson includes the older kids under her care in her various service projects.
“We usually do blanket drives, Easter baskets, and help at the Ronald McDonald House under her name,” Rawlinson said.
In regard to the hot pink box that catches the eye of those driving by, Rawlinson stated, “That’s Kamy’s favorite color. We painted it hot pink so people can see it.”
The box is regularly filled with different food items.
“Whatever we have left from the week at the daycare, we put in here,” Rawlinson said. “I never see who takes stuff, but I refill it every Friday or every Monday.”
Rawlinson said she welcomes donations, but it’s important not to bring too many items.
The box is not very big, and she doesn’t want to have food spilling onto the grass.
Instead, she welcomes interested individuals to bring one food item with them if they have extra. Larger donations, she stated, can go to bigger donation places (such as local food drives or homeless shelters).
The box contains a variety of food items. Some days it contains peanut butter and bread, while other days hungry individuals can find vegetables and fruit.
Rawlinson wants community members in need to know they can take items from the box if they are hungry. She said “This is for the youth. You don’t have to wait for business hours. If we have something and you’re hungry, just come and grab it.”
The box is located at 1175 E. 100 N. in Payson. (Peterson is a Serve Daily Contributor).