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McKinney Little Free Pantry sees surge in usage

McKinney Little Free Pantry operates out of 11 locations in Collin County. Volunteers have had to restock shelves three times a day to meet the demand.

MCKINNEY, Texas — The McKinney Little Free Pantry has seen a substantial surge in usage in the last two months, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to effect families.

The stand-alone boxes are available for pick-up and drop off 24 hours a day and seven days a week. For organizers, it was important to provide families in need a chance to get help anonymously.  

"You don't have to apply, you don't have to ask. If there's something in that pantry you need, feel free to take it," said Kimberly Sanchez with McKinney Little Free Pantry.

Volunteers routinely drive to each pantry site to restock the shelves. But because of the pandemic and the desperate need for help volunteers have been restocking the shelves three times a day.

The pantry was started by organizers who wanted something different than a walk-in food pantry. There are 11 little free pantries located through out Collin County, but mostly in McKinney. 

"These pantries have served as wonderful vehicles for distributing food at a time of a virus," said Sanchez.

One young woman who walked up to the pantry while WFAA was there openly said her mother was just let go from work. She said the pantry helps put food on the table.

"[Hunger] was already a problem before coronavirus existed," said Sanchez.

Sanchez told WFAA that she has also been very encouraged by the number of donations they've received during these difficult times. 

The Pantry is looking for a food drop-off site, most preferably a business, in west McKinney. Organizers are also hoping to add another stand-alone pantry north of Highway 380.

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