National News

It's more than a box. It's a blessing. Free Lil Pantry feeds the soul & fills the heart

Posted September 20, 2017 10:56 a.m. EDT

— When times get tough and the cupboard goes bare, a pantry just popped up on a street in Algiers Point.

It's the Free Lil Pantry. It's in the 600 block of Opelousas Street, near Olivier.

The Free Lil Pantry stands on a sidewalk, fastened to a fence.

WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood says the idea for the box is out-of-the-box.

And it comes from Becky Hicks, the art director of a New Orleans ad agency.

Becky got a neighborhood handyman to step up and build the box.

Now, it's the talk of the neighborhood. And the place where neighbors walk with food by the bag full to give.

Some people bring mac-n-cheese.

Others bring cans of soup.

One guy brought toothpaste and a toothbrush.

Becky Hicks created the Free Lil Pantry in the same tradition as free little libraries that are popping up around New Orleans.

The idea is you borrow books that are left out in wooden boxes set up on street corners. It's the honor system.

You have to bring the books back. But you can also bring some of your own books and leave them as well.

Becky figured if the concept works for books, it would also work for food.

If you're hungry, take what you need. If you have extra, leave some for others.

Becky remembers her own tough times. Times when she needed a little help to make it through the next meal. She got help then and now she wants to help people who need it today.