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Take What You Need, Leave What You Can: The tiny, free pantries scattered across Colorado

Little Free Pantry
Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 19:38:25-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Scattered across the country (really the world), including right here in our back yard, you can find tiny, free pantries set up and operated by community-minded individuals and families. It's not an organization, just a movement made up of people trying to help anyone that might a few extra essentials.

According to the Little Free Pantry website, the movement started in Fayetteville, Arkansas back in 2016 with the creation of one free-to-use, tiny pantry. From there the idea caught and has since spread all over the country and beyond.

The overall goal is really split up into two parts, with the primary focus clearly being to provide food and other necessary items to those who might need them.

"So when you're struggling, or you're like, hey, I don't have enough money for food this week, it's there," stated Meagan Vogt, a Colorado Springs woman who runs one free, mini pantry.

The second goal is to really bring neighbors together and strive to build a stronger sense of community wherever the mini pantries are set up.

"We have each other, that's all we have," said Hailey Radvillas, who runs another Colorado Springs based mini pantry, "if I have property and I can put this there for them and people can give and take as much as they want or as much as they need, then I am happy to provide a location for that."

According to those mini pantry operators we had a chance to interview, their dream is to see more and more of these spots, where they see community coming together, pop up across the Pikes Peak region.

"I want my neighbors to know," continued Vogt, "this is an easy project that most of the people around us can fulfill themselves."

To date, the Mini Pantry Movement website has listed seven Colorado Springs pantries, with two more located in Pueblo.