Tiny food pantries are popping up across America

If you want to make a difference in your community but don't have time to stop by a food pantry, you may be in luck soon. A small-scale charity movement is appearing across the United States: lawn food pantry stands.

NPR reports that they're similar to "little free libraries" but instead of books, they're stocked with free food and necessities. Some have small personal care items like toothbrushes or bigger items like diapers.

Kansas resident Maggie Ballard calls hers a "blessings box."

Credit: KMUW via NPR

"I felt like this is something that I could do — something small that you know, would benefit so many people so long as the word got out about it," she told NPR.

These boxes are popping up in front of churches, business and even homes. They have been spotted in states from Oklahoma to Florida.

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Ballard has only seen a handful of people use her blessings box, because most come at night. Arkansas resident Jessica McClard has put up what she calls a "little free pantry" in front of her home as well.

She said that the turnover is pretty fast -- under an hour -- and it shows that these items are essential for the community. She told NPR, "the frequency of the turnover and the fact that other sites in town are also turning over that frequently, it suggests to me that the need is tremendous."

These little pantries are a cute, but effective, way to help others.

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