TikTok star keeps Vancouver community pantries stocked, highlights food insecurity

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Mona Grenier collects bread donations for Vancouver community pantries. Through the TikTok account @interruptingchicken, she has amassed thousands of followers in just a few months that follow her as she stocks pantry.Jackie Dives / The Globe and Mail

Every Saturday morning, Mona Grenier goes to a grocery store in her neighborhood to pick up bread that would otherwise be thrown away. She drives to four community pantries and refrigerators in different areas of Vancouver and fills them with bread and other items donated by her TikTok subscribers.

Ms. Grenier’s TikTok account @interruptingchicken, which she launched just three months ago, has over 30,000 subscribers and is growing every day. Ms. Grenier uses the platform to educate people about food insecurity, and she does so by sharing the ins and outs of sourcing community pantries and refrigerators.

Not only does she give daily pantry status updates, sharing with her subscribers the new items she adds and how she organizes and cleans them, she also does “experiments” to determine which food is. the most popular. She once pitted proteins such as peanut butter, beans, tuna, and tofu against each other, filling a pantry with those items and asking her followers to guess which one would be taken first (tuna for victory !). She also similarly tested the popularity of canned vegetable varieties and cake mixes.

Ms. Grenier also engaged people in other ways. She shared her struggle with an ongoing feud with raccoons, which until recently had entered pantries and destroyed items. Using suggestions from her followers, she built new, more secure doors to keep the critters out. She also takes suggestions from subscribers on new items to add to the pantry and set up an Amazon account so people can purchase donation items themselves, which will then be shipped to them.

If you are wondering if Ms. Grenier dives into pantries herself, her honest answer is “yes”. Participating herself helps reduce the stigma associated with using the pantry, she says.


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