Gaia’s Pantry – A Valuable Community Resource


          • Zero Waste Tip – Don’t let your food go to waste. Donate excess cooked food, fresh fruits and vegetables, spices, non-perishable items, plastic food containers, to Gaia’s food pantry.

What is Gaia’s Pantry?

Gaia’s Pantry serves the community by helping those experiencing food insecurity as well as everyone to reduce their food waste by sharing extra food with others.

Centrally situated in the parking lot of the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos at 1738 N. Sage Loop St., the pantry consists of a 30-cu. ft. bear resistant metal box to house non-perishable food items and small non-food items like baby diapers, toiletries, small kitchenware and small household items. It also has a 3-cu. ft. outdoor refrigerator outside the church’s entryway that’s locked with the key attached to the unit. The fridge holds perishable items like fruits, vegetables, cooked meals and other items that need refrigeration except for fresh meats.

Gaia’s Pantry has been in operation since the height of the pandemic in 2020 when much of the grocery shelves were empty. It was particularly useful when many people were hesitant about going into crowded supermarkets for one or two items they needed to prepare their meals. 

Team Gaia has an email list with about two dozen people who are active participants in helping to restock the pantry regularly by donating food items and helping to repackage bulk items into manageable take-away portions. Gaia’s pantry accepts plastic bags, small containers, red string bags, small jars and other handy containers that can be used to repackage bulk items into smaller servings.

Gaia also has a Facebook group where members share posts about what items are needed, what are in excess, and appeal for help whenever the pantry or the fridge needs to be replenished. You can find out more about Gaia’s Pantry by joining their Facebook group or get even more involved by joining their google groups mailing list. Send an email to

Gaia’s Pantry Takes a Village 

Members of the Unitarian Church donate to a fund at special events to raise money needed to purchase bulk foods to stock the pantry. Local gardeners regularly donate extra produce from their gardens to help restock the fridge. The Los Alamos Cooperative Market and Smith’s produce sections often donate excess produce to the pantry. A few local gardeners have adopted raised beds at the Los Alamos Cooperative Market and at PEEC for the purpose of growing food for the Pantry. The Unitarian Church also has a Food Forest where the harvests of fresh vegetables are shared through the Pantry. When people are moving out of town, they often donate bags of food items they don’t wish to take with them across the country. They also empty out their fridge of perishable items for Gaia’s Fridge.

Gaia’s Pantry is Good for our Community and our Planet

No food is wasted. Un-used perishable items from the fridge are composted. We accept non-perishable items that are past their “best by” and “sell by” dates, as well as those items that have been safely resealed after opening. Local restaurants are encouraged to reduce their food waste by donating cooked meals in marked containers in the fridge. Putting a date is helpful to determine freshness.

Other food pantries in the County include those located at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church and First United Methodist Church on Diamond Drive, Betty Ehart Senior Center, White Rock Baptist Church, and St. Job Orthodox Church behind Muy Salsa on Trinity Drive. 

For information on the county’s sustainability initiatives, visit the Los Alamos County Sustainability webpage at those with questions or concerns, please contact Angelica Gurule Sustainability Manager at 662.8383 or 

KokHeong McNaughton is a volunteer member of the Los Alamos Sustainability Alliance, comprised of Los Alamos County employees and community volunteers the team was tasked by the Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) to educate the community on: 

  1. reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions;
  2. conserving energy and water; and
  3. promoting environmental stewardship.
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