Near the main entrance of Klondike Elementary School is a small, house-shaped cabinet that contains various food items. Painted above the door is the message, “Take what you want; leave what you can.” The Little Free Pantry is the inspiration of Girl Scout Troop 1423.
Troop leader Marlene Hunley says the girls wanted to earn their Bronze Award by completing a project that would support their school friends and families.
“They really wanted to do something in the community for those who struggle with food insecurity,” says Hunley.
After months of planning, the girls worked in groups to build, paint and decorate two Little Free Pantry boxes. Several girls also participated in shopping for the food items that were placed inside the pantries. The items include paper towels, toothbrushes, cereal, peanut butter and canned vegetables.
The troop installed one box at Klondike Elementary and the other at Edgelea Elementary School just before the start of classes.
“For now, our troop will help support the Little Free Pantries,” says Hunley. “We will check them every week or two to see what items need to be restocked. Ideally, our hope is that the community will eventually support these boxes.”