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EVERYDAY HEROES: Pantry opens to help the community

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YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - One Yuma couple is doing what they can to help out during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Katie Benedict and Steven Fritz are running an operation out of their own home to make sure Yuma is fed.

“We’re not here to judge. We’re not here to figure out where in life you are or where you’re going to be tomorrow because nobody knows. We’re here to make sure you have food on the table tonight tomorrow for as much as we can help,” said Benedict.

Katie and her husband Steven Fritz opened the Yuma Little Free Pantry doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.

They said they have been receiving messages of uncertainty from those in the community while they face layoffs.

“You know we got laid off last week until this is over. It’s terrifying,” was one example Benedict gave.

They said they have seen the need.

“Within a day we’ve seen the need. This is really a big need in Yuma right now,” said Benedict.

The couples said they were most touched by a man who came to their door to use the pantry.

“Older generation, very proud, held his head high, not in the best of health but who is these days? If you need help. I’m an avid hunter. I’m an avid fisherman. I’ll make sure you don’t go hungry," said Fritz.

He said thank you.

I said well do you have any meat in your fridge? Something told me to ask.

They went above and beyond and got him just what he needed after finding out his refrigerator was broken.

“The look on the guys face when he got the fridge was. I came home and I cried for about 20 minutes,” said Fritz.

Message after message of gratitude is what they are receiving in return.

“Social distancing, I think that’s been the hardest part because I want to hug everybody and I can’t but you know air hugs whatever it takes,” said Benedict.

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Ciara Encinas

Ciara Encinas is an Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the KYMA in May 2018.


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