Starting your own food pantry may sound like a daunting task, but for Maggie Ballard of Wichita, Kansas, it was as easy as setting up a small, enclosed box mounted on a post and refilling it with canned and boxed goods as necessary. Small-scale food pantries are starting to catch on, and you can easily set up your own, according to NPR’s The Salt.
Ballard’s box has a plexiglass door in front of it, but no lock, so people will feel welcome to take what they need without having to find a shelter or official pantry. The pantry has gotten so popular in her neighborhood that she gets more donations than she can fill the box with.
Ballard said she watched a family eat bagels from the free pantry on Christmas Eve and was touched.
This sort of community food pantry has been slowly catching on across the country. Many believe it all started with Jessica McClard, who created The Little Free Pantry in Arkansas; her project started in May 2016 and soon grew to become a full-fledged non-profit organization.
"We're all short on time and money, and this is a way that people can feel like they are making a difference," McClard told NPR.