Colony Carpenter’s Cabinet still going strong

Organization founder confronts local resident’s claim that food pantry is closing

The Colony Town Council and the Carpenter’s Cabinet ministry reaffirmed their commitment to each other Tuesday evening. Left to right are Councilman Sam Ashford, Carpenter’s Cabinet Founder Chris Warnick, Councilwoman Ethel Alexander and Colony Mayor Donnis Leeth. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

COLONY, Ala. – The Colony Town Council on Tuesday got a visit from Chris Warnick, founder of the Carpenter’s Cabinet food pantry ministry, which operates a pantry in Colony. He came to confront claims made by a Colony resident that the town’s pantry was closing down.

According to Warnick, the North Alabama Food Bank received a call from the town resident stating that a council member had announced that the pantry was closing.

He told the council: “I would hope that none of y’all want to shut our pantry down, because I think that it’s a fantastic thing that we have going here. I think God’s blessed us good. But that never came to me from anybody on this council. It came to me from a third party. When I contacted the lady that contacted the food bank, she told me it was all wrong, okay. The person that they accused on the council is one of my board members, so I have a real problem with that. One, if they’re not happy on my board, they need to step down. Two, I think our pantry here’s been very successful; we’ve helped a lot of people here. We’ve been able to reach out in other capacities; some people that were homeless, we were able to reach out to people that needed jobs. 

He continued, “It goes more than just food. It goes more beyond what we can do. God has blessed us that we can bless other people. And I don’t know if it was politically motivated, because (Town Clerk) Patricia (Ponder) is our director; I would hope not, that that’s not the reason. But I feel like if somebody on this town council does not want us here, they need to come to me instead of going to other people. Same thing for the people in the town. God’s blessed this town with a food bank. God’s blessed us with the key to help y’all with this food pantry. So I would ask that all of you consider what’s said around town, among y’all and out in the community, because what we see in the community, we need this food pantry here.”

In the discussion that followed, after an exchange over training of volunteers with Brenda Johnson, town librarian and wife of councilman Curtis Johnson, Warnick added, “I think there’s a little animosity that creates problems for the food pantry, is what I really believe, and I think it needs to stop, because the food pantry’s not connected to this town, other than in their facility.”

Warnick offered to remove the pantry if the council decided that it was a problem for the town, to which Mayor Donnis Leeth responded that the pantry was no problem. The council and mayor together affirmed their continuing commitment to the ministry. 

The Colony Carpenter’s Cabinet holds food distributions on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at other times by appointment. For more information, to apply for assistance or to make a contribution, contact the pantry at 256-287-1192.

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W.C. Mann