Breaking News
More () »

Austin's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Austin, Texas | KVUE.com

Austin woman helps those in need with 'Little Free Pantry' initiative

"Last year, I got very sick and a lot of people saved my life, so paying it forward was my goal," she said.

AUSTIN — An Austin woman is getting creative to help people in need with her project, "Little Free Pantry," where anyone is allowed to drop off donations into the box or take whatever they need.

Jenny Lorraine said she's paying it forward after getting a ton of help during a near-death experience.

"It's not going to save anyone's life, but it will make a helping hand," Lorraine said.

The initiative is about neighbors helping neighbors.

The "Little Free Pantry" is a wooden colorful box on the side of the street at the corner of Cloverleaf and Cameron Road in Austin.

"We just had a guy drop off clothing for men, food and toiletries," she explained.

Lorraine said the pantry is more than just a piece of furniture.

"Last year, I got very sick and a lot of people saved my life, so paying it forward was my goal," she said.

And that is when the "Little Free Pantry" was created.

"It's not just for homeless people. It's for anyone in the neighborhood, or anyone going to work that simply need a snack," Lorraine said.

The Little Free Pantry works only if you get what you need and donate whatever you can.

Inside the wooden box you'll find food, water, clothes, and other items that could be useful.

"This is the first that I have ever seen anything like this," said Aquan Sims, who walks by the pantry nearly every day.

Sims said it's a reminder that simple acts of kindness still exist.

"You don't have to have a lot of money, just the simplistic of an idea can go a long way," Sims said.

"Maybe a single mom doesn't get paid anytime soon and is hungry," Lorraine said. "She can stop by here and get some mac and cheese for her and her kids."

The box was originally trash Lorraine found on the side of the road, but she said a neighbor helped her make it into a bigger pantry.

For a map where you can find a "Little Free Pantry" near you, CLICK HERE.