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A Muskogee woman is turning her cousin's tragedy into charity with the Pantry on Peak

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Posted at 7:09 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 20:09:33-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. - Jennifer Hollingshead is turning her cousin Kenneth Foster's tragedy into charity with her Pantry on Peak. 

“I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, the idea of doing it and how excited he was about the thought of a little free pantry coming to Muskogee," she said, remembering when "K.C" showed her an Australian food pantry on YouTube. 

The premise is to leave a cabinet outside and fill it with food. 

From there people can either pick up food, donate food or swap items.

“He had a lot of struggles but all he wanted to do was help others so that they wouldn’t go through the same struggles he did," she said.

She said K.C. was homeless, struggled with drugs, lost his parents and had even been to jail. 

But while he was there he joined a bible study group that brought him back to his faith. 

After his release he stayed at a church and left food outside for people to take home. 

“I feel like had he been given the chance to live longer that he would have probably done this on his own."

After getting clean and moving his life in the right direction at 32 K.C. was killed by a drunk driver. 

He and his nephew had hitched a ride while camping to get get water, and the driver that picked them up was intoxicated. 

Hollingshead said if he had the time to make his food pantry a reality he would've been the "silent giver."

“He would probably pick stuff up and bring it overnight when no one would see him bring it. He didn’t like to bring attention to himself, he didn’t want to be known for his giving. He would just secretly fill it up," she said.

Her employee Kara Duke said she remembers her boss was emotional when she brought them the idea. But she knew they had to do it.

“Everybody knows someone that needs a helping hand, everyone knows someone who’s having hard times we’ve all been through it," Duke said.

Hollingshead said she's proud that after all her cousin went through he'll be remembered for who he is not what he was.

“He doesn’t have those struggles anymore, so that makes me feel at piece knowing that he’s whole again.”

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