Penny Morris sponsors proposed library kitchen

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

Thank you to the many library supporters who contacted their councillors in support of the Library Expansion! We now have municipal approval for this project to move forward and look forward to getting shovels in the ground. The day after the council meeting the exhilaration at every single branch of the library was palpable, as almost every patron who came in mentioned the excitement they felt knowing this project will go forward.

One person who was enthusiastically watching the meeting online was Penny Morris, of Penny’s Pantry in Picton. Penny recently made a generous contribution of $7,500 to sponsor the kitchen in the expanded library. With her previous career in early childhood education, Penny considered sponsoring the baby and toddler area but ultimately decided upon the kitchen. Food and, critically, it’s role in community building is Penny’s passion. “I get so much joy out of providing healthy meals and baking for my customers. Food is about bringing people together, and this library kitchen will support that capacity,” she notes.

Having previously given a workshop about healthy eating in the old Picton Branch Library meeting room, she sees the urgent need for an improved space as the room lacks even a sink. This prevents the library from offering any programs with a food component, and makes even providing refreshments for workshops or lectures difficult. Penny has a long history with the library.

“All of the library’s staff have gone above and beyond for me- even bringing books to me when I was working seven days a week and couldn’t get in to the library.”

In the nine years since Penny’s Pantry opened, she has felt huge support from the community, and this expansion provides an opportunity for her to contribute to a new beautiful renovation of a historical landmark on Main Street in Picton.

“The library offers a substantial range of services for this community,” notes Penny. She had a friend in a nursing home who received a regular delivery of library books, and the importance of this service in people’s lives struck a chord with Penny. She saw that her friend, a voracious reader, was able to escape to other places through fiction, and relied heavily on the library for a steady flow of new books. Penny’s donation will be matched by an anonymous donor who has agreed to match every single dollar given to the library expansion before the end of the year, up to $100,000. This is a great time to give! If you are interested in reviewing the list of sponsorship opportunities, please contact Barbara Sweet at (613) 476-5962 or email bsweet@peclibrary.org.

Donations can be made online at loveyourlibrary.ca, or by mail: 208 Main Street, Picton ON K0K2T0. Please make cheques out to The County of Prince Edward Public Library with “Library Expansion” in the memo field.

-Liz Zylstra