Aberdeen teen installs food pantry at park

Aberdeen resident and Pinecrest student Eric Sabiston is stepping up to lend a helping hand to the residents of the Sandhills with a series of community outreach projects. This August saw the completion of his first project, a miniature food pantry located in Aberdeen Lake Park, and Eric has already noticed the pantry receiving plenty of use.

“I wanted to think of a way to support my community, and I was noticing rising prices in food and other expenses that I thought could be difficult for struggling families,” explained Eric. “I thought a food pantry would be a great way to help out people that needed a little extra help, especially families with kids.”

The park pantry provides a place for Moore County locals to drop off non-perishable foods for others who may be in need. Located next to the playground at the park, the pantry is situated in a spot that is both safe and convenient for those who wish to stop by.

To get the project off the ground, Eric enlisted the help of his grandfather. Together, the two brainstormed the idea and drafted up blueprints that best matched Eric’s vision. From there, Eric handled the bulk of the construction himself.

Over the following week, Eric was hard at work on his project, making multiple trips to the park to ensure the pantry was properly assembled and installed. In total, the pantry took about eight hours of work to build, not including the time spent choosing the materials and designing the blueprints.

In the end, the hard work paid off. “I’ve been checking on it, and I see that there are items that get taken, and other items that get put into the pantry,” said Eric. “I like seeing that there are people who are using it and that it potentially helps them. Knowing somebody was thankful for what I did…It makes me feel like I did something that was worth it.”

Eric hopes to continue his acts of service around Moore County. He is already busy planning future projects, has several ideas on how he can continue lending a helping hand to the residents of the Sandhills, and is particularly committed to continuing his work in Aberdeen.  

Above all else, Eric hopes that people are aware that the food pantry is there if they need it. “If anyone feels they want to donate or need to take from it, it’s there,” Eric stated. “I’m trying to help as many people as I can.”

Feature photo: Eric Sabiston stands next to the food pantry he constructed at Aberdeen Lake. Contributed photo.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Abegail Murphy.

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