OTTAWA -- The Redeemer Alliance Church on Innes Road in Orléans has built a public library and food cupboard so members of the community can support each other.

“If you need sugar or flour you can show up and take it,” said ward Coun. Matthew Luloff. “When you are in a better position you can return the favour and I think that’s what community is all about.”

Church members pitched in with time and money to build the Orléans Community Little Library and Little Pantry, a standalone kiosk facing a pedestrian path that runs behind the church.

“One of our values is reaching our community in new ways,” said Dylan Armstrong, one of the pastors at the church. “We recognized this was empowering our community to help one another.”

Church members believe some people in need feel stigmatized going to a regular food bank and that stigma forces them to suffer in silence. Their hope is having this new book and food kiosk will help remove that barrier to seeking help.

Armstrong believes the community agrees.

“We had prepared to put food in ourselves, but the community beat us to it.”