There's another option for fresh food and groceries on Erie's east side thanks to community organizations working together.

The Mercy Anchor Community Center's food pantry opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday.

Jennie Hagerty, the Executive Director of the Mercy Center for Women said, "It's heart felt, it's exciting, but also it shows that we do have needs in this community that might not be met."

There was a line of people waiting to get groceries when the doors open.  Toya Walcott, a Volunteer with the food pantry said, "I'm very excited to help everyone. Because I did have to utilize them myself as a young person. So it feels good to give it back to the community."

The food pantry is a collaboration between local organizations to help feed people who may need some extra help. "So having the Second Harvest Food Bank as a partner to us and allowing on the Mercy Anchor Community Center to be a satellite for the great work that they do is a win-win for everybody", said Hagerty.

The food pantry isn't just for the people that the Mercy Center for Women serves. It's for the entire community on this side of town.

It also helps fill the void left behind from a former food pantry. As Hagerty explained, "Prior to us renovating this facility. The food pantry was run by Holy Rosary. So men, women, children, whoever is in need, as long as they meet the requirements, they're able to come in and they're able to shop. It's exciting, but also it shows that we do have needs in this community that might not be met."

The food pantry is set up like a grocery store, so customers can choose and shop for what things they need. "Some local farmers that have been kind enough to provide butternut squash, carrots, broccoli. There's cereals, there's hygiene products. We also have some diapers down there as well. There's fresh produce. So again, keeping it healthy but plentiful with recipe ideas too", explained Hagerty.

Another resource to help those needing some extra support. "It's good to know that there is another place out here that can help needy families", said Walcott.

The food pantry will be open once a week on Wednesdays. Next week it's open from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and the following week it's open from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. People don't need to make an appointment, they will sign everyone in when they arrive.