'Neighbors helping neighbors': Pa. Community Cupboard gets fresh coat of paint

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Pa. Community Cupboard gets fresh coat of paint
This Ambler food pantry got a colorful makeover designed to help reach more people in need.

AMBLER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "The community around here really cares because there's so many people who have nothing to eat," said Keven Salda. "We don't know what we would do without this food. We wouldn't have been able to keep living where we're living without getting food here."

Salda is a client at Mattie N. Dixon Community Cupboard, whose namesake is a neighborhood hero who started feeding folks from her house in the 1970s.

"What one person can do, she did it," said Salda, who once volunteered with Dixon. "She didn't like seeing people go hungry."

Dixon's name was etched into the side of the old Ambler ambulance building, which has been home to the Community Cupboard for roughly a decade.

"It's kind of a bland-looking building," admitted Cindy Wedholm, the pantry's current Executive Director. "Most people just kind of pass by it and don't see anything."

However, starting today, the cupboard at the intersection of Main Street and Reiffs Mill Road will be hard to miss.

Through word of mouth, a partnership was established with the Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries, a Fortune 500 company supplying paint products across the world. The drab building was a perfect candidate for the Colorful Communities Program, founded in 2015 to enrich congregate settings like classrooms, hospitals, and orphanages with vibrant makeovers.

Marc Wright, a Philadelphia-area regional sales manager for PPG, was one of the many volunteers breaking a sweat while coating the cupboard in a range of blue tones.

"People seeing that local community centers are being revived, people tend to reinvest in the community and help out," he said, "Whether it is clean up the neighborhoods or, you know, help donate for needy families and such."

In addition to biweekly food pick-ups, clients at Mattie N. Dixon can find clothing, employment assistance, medical referrals, housing referrals, financial assistance and more.

Clients like Salda hope the fresh coat of paint will bring more eyes to the pantry and encourage more donors and clients alike.

"Those who've got it, you should give it," she said. "If you haven't, then you should come and get it."

To learn more about how to get involved with the Community Cupboard, visit their website.

RELATED: South Jersey man turns garage into free food pantry for anyone in need

"I don't think anyone should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from." A Westville, NJ, native turned his house into a hub for food, toiletries, and friendship.