The People's Pantry: City-wide pantries offer free food to those who need it

    CINCINNATI, OH. (WKRC) - At the corner of Montgomery and Lester sits a little red roofed box. Inside it, you can find canned goods, noodles and even beauty products and they’re free for whoever needs it.

    The idea to bring the little pantry to Pleasant Ridge is from Lisa Andrews who saw the concept on Facebook from a community in Arkansas.

    It works like the little library’s in many other communities: Take an item, leave an item.

    On a daily basis the pantry is used and re-stocked by citizens and it’s tracked mostly on social media.

    “Because the Facebook page is so active people would just post that it’s empty or needs some love, or the girl scouts have donated. It’s been a lot of fun to watch it grow,” said Andrews.

    The Pleasant Ridge Little Pantry opened in September of 2016 and has been so successful Andrews is expanding it to 10 other spots in the city after receiving a grant from the People’s Liberty.

    "I really believe in people eating and not going hungry and the impact it has on kids education and just your overall health,” said Andrews.

    The new locations will be in Camp Washington, Over-The-Rhine, Millvale, Roll Hill, Winton Hill, The West End, East Price Hill, Walnut Hills and North Fairmont.

    Walnut Hills recently lost its Kroger so Andrews says two pantries will be placed in the neighborhood.

    Volunteers and even students are creating the new pantries out of recycled newspaper boxes. Students at Chase Elementary in Northside are almost finished with their stand and hope to have it open by the end of the month.

    "For them it's going to be a legacy that will be left at their they will put their names on the back and their school and just make it their own,” said Andrews.

    The rest of the pantries are expected to pop up in June.

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