“Give what you can, take what you need” are the watchwords of a grassroots movement founded in 2016 to provide food, personal care, and paper items to all who need assistance, no questions asked. Since the movement began, little free pantries have been set up all over the country. There are more than six in Washington, MO, one of which is at Peace Lutheran Church.
The Little Peace Pantry at Peace Lutheran is basically a box on a pole that is located in an accessible area. There is an easy-to-open door on the box to protect the items inside. Typical food items are ready-to-eat canned or individually packaged items that contain proteins, vegetables, carbs, fruits, etc. Pop-top or other easily opened cans and packaging are recommended. Personal care and paper items are especially helpful, since these items are not generally covered by food stamps or WIC. These include diapers, wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap, small towel or washcloth, toilet paper, tissues, as well as socks and gloves for cold weather, etc. Items in the pantry are subject to the extremes of heat and cold, so some items are not able to be stocked, depending on the weather.
The pantry is stocked by members of Peace Lutheran and is free to anyone in need.
Popular items include:
- Bottled water
- Individual servings of cereal, snacks, chips, snack bars
- Pop-top soups and pastas
- Peanut butter
- Feminine hygiene products
- Cleaning supplies
- Diapers and wipes
- Personal care items