A storage building for the Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Little Free Pantry was named to honor volunteers Florence and Michael Bucierka of Sequim. Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

A storage building for the Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship’s Little Free Pantry was named to honor volunteers Florence and Michael Bucierka of Sequim. Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Agnew’s free pantry expands, supporters honored

Storage building named after Florence and Michael Bucierka

AGNEW — Agnew’s Little Free Pantry has been expanded with a storage facility created by volunteers at the Olympic Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

The building at the fellowship at 1033 Barr Road was dedicated as the Florence and Michael Bucierka Social Justice Building on Oct. 10.

Before a crowd of more than 40 people, Vicki Sensiba, chairperson of the fellowship’s Little Free Pantry, said the building is “truly the work of many hands and hearts (and) there are two people without whom this building would never have come to exist.

“From the beginning of the Little Free Pantry, Florence Bucierka was determined that we needed a permanent facility, and when Florence wants something she doesn’t just talk about it. She makes it happen,” Sensiba said.

Bucierka wrote grants, did the pantry’s bookkeeping and sought out volunteers, while her husband Michael served as construction supervisor.

“Nobody worked harder than Michael … He checked and double-checked the work,” Sensiba said. “He constantly looked for ways to save money. And on and on and on.”

The pantry originally opened on Sept. 20, 2020, to help provide food items to locals 24/7 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with the expansion, a space for cooler storage was built and placed between the pantry and little library along Barr Road by Michael Clemens, who constructed many little free pantries in Sequim and Port Angeles.

The new 12-foot-by-20-foot storage building houses dry food on shelves and cold food in a refrigerator, as well as books for the fellowship’s free library, gifts for foster children and space for other social justice projects to help the community, volunteers said.

Sensiba said the fellowship received $11,275 in grants, $3,250 in member donations and $6,650 in indefinite loans from members to offset a grant request that was not awarded.

Sensiba thanked and recognized dozens of community partners and volunteers for their support with certificates.

Benji Astrachan with the Washington State University Extension Office, which supports Clallam Compassion’s Little Free Pantry program in Clallam County, said volunteers with the fellowship have been excellent partners.

“Their dedication to the community and persistence in creating and expanding food access opportunities in the area has been inspiring, to say the least,” Astrachan said in an interview.

“As the Little Free Pantries spread across the county, their leadership, wisdom and generous sharing of knowledge and experiences has been invaluable in getting new hosts up and running,” he said.

”We’re thrilled by the latest additions at the OUUF Pantry and couldn’t ask for better allies in the fight against food insecurity in Clallam County.”

Said Sensiba: “Whatever we have given, we have received far more in return.

“We have learned so much and we have been humbled by the generosity we have experienced,” she said. “We feel so fortunate.”

Addresses of other Little Free Pantries in the Sequim area are:

• 517 W. Fir St., behind St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

• 1371 Marine Drive, at the intersection with Mountain View Drive.

• 9090 Old Olympic Highway, under awning at Sequim Valley Foursquare.

• 425 N. Sunnyside Ave., between Spruce and Fir Streets, on the west side of Sunnyside.

• 620 N. Fifth Ave., outside YMCA of Sequim.

• 1700 Carlsborg Road, just south of Old Olympic Highway junction.

In the Port Angeles area, they are:

• 316 S Cherry St. (Fourth and Cherry St. intersection, against a white picket fence on the west side of the road)

•301 E. Lopez Ave. (outside Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, in the southeast corner of the parking lot shared with the Port Angeles Public Library)

• 2634 S. Francis St. (outside Lutheran Family Services).

• 1140 W. Ninth St. (the southeast corner of 9th and E Streets).

• 1134 E. Park Ave. (outside of CHI student dorms for Peninsula College).

• 254 N. Bagley Creek Road (north of intersection with U.S. Highway 101, outside the Center for Spiritual Living

• 1422 S. Cedar St. (near Cedar and 15th streets, just south of the Elks Playfield).

On the West End, Little Free Pantries are:

• In Beaver at the corner of Pleasant Lake Road and Taylor Street behind the Beaver General Store.

• In Forks in the side parking lot of the Mariposa House at 81 S. Second Ave.

• On the Hoh reservation at 92 Chalaat Loop, intended only for residents of the reservation.

For more information, visit olympicuuf.com or see https://www.facebook.com/compassioncampaigncc/.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

Penny Burdick and Dave Large take a tour of the Florence and Florence and Michael Bucierka Social Justice Building. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Penny Burdick and Dave Large take a tour of the Florence and Florence and Michael Bucierka Social Justice Building. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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