Lewisville resident helps families in need with public pantry

Frank Vaughn's Free Little Pantry provides food to families in need. (Photo by Thomas Cook)

Serve Denton and Lewisville resident Frank Vaughn are helping North Texas families in need through the Free Little Pantry program.

The pantries are designed to help families who have a short–term food need. The pantries are small boxes stocked full of non–perishable food items people are able to come and take from no questions asked. Planners at Serve Denton noticed there was a gap for families in need of help.

“The idea is to fill that gap,” Serve Denton operations director Carlie Kuban said. “There’s a lot of places out there that provide food assistance, but for the weekend or that day or night, it’s very easy to access the food at the little free pantries.”

Because the pantries are located outside of homes, businesses and nonprofits, they are open any time — day or night. The only limitations are that they remain stocked.

“It started off very slowly with not much use,” Frank Vaughn said. “Then suddenly it took off, and now I have to stock it every two to three days.”

Anyone is welcome to help stock the pantry. Peanut butter and Vienna sausages are particularly popular items Vaughn said. In addition to food items, any household items are welcome. Toothpaste, deodorant, gloves and toothbrushes are also among some of the more popular items at Vaughn’s pantry.

Serve Denton members see the Free Little Pantry project as just one small step to try and fight hunger in North Texas.

“We know we’re not going to solve hunger through this,” Serve Denton communications program manager Brooke Hawkins said. “It’s just one step closer to maybe help a few people who need a little extra help.”

The pantries are one cubic foot and look similar to mailboxes. The Young Men’s Service League of Argyle was responsible for the building and funding of the project. There are currently 11 pantries spread throughout North Texas but predominantly in Denton.

Vaughn’s Free Little Pantry is located at 311 Herod St.

If anyone would like to volunteer to have a Free Little Pantry at their home or business the can visit the Serve Denton website and fill out an application at ltjne.ws/flp.

Update: This story has been edited to better clarify the location of Lewisville’s first Free Little Pantry.