KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Whether it's rainy, snowy or resident are struggling through a global pandemic, Kansas City, Missouri's Waldo community consistently makes sure it takes care of its neighbors.
That effort has manifested through The Little Pantry.
Shannon Nixon drops off her weekly donation and takes a mental note of the inventory so she can update the Waldo neighborhood Facebook page.
"Someone had donated a ton of baby formula, a ton of baby food and I was shocked. We never get that," Nixon said.
The Little Pantry is a white box in the corner of the New City Church's parking lot near 87th Street and Wornall Road. It's small but full of blessings.
"This is one small box right, and this box is bringing this small little community together," Nixon said. "And even if it's only three blocks, it's still bringing them together."
Nixon felt the need to help after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and she wondered what families were doing to put food on the table, especially those who relied on school meals.
She thought if she could at least help five families, she'd feel good about that.
Nixon said the pantry always needs a consistent supply of diapers, baby food, toiletries, and hygiene kits.
The Waldo community is just as passionate, always updating the page and asking how to help. Several people visit the pantry every day to drop off donations.
If the shelves are bare, they make sure to fill it up by the end of the day. If it's untidy, someone will always reorganize.
"It's one thing to live in the neighborhood but I think it's really important to be an active participant and do whatever you can to help," Sima Agayeva, a Waldo neighbor, said.
Agayeva compiled a list of little pantries in the area, including a "KC Soul Pantry" not too far away at 79th Terrace and Campbell Street.
"If you hit one but maybe one looks a little bit full, keep going and try to hit a couple of the others," Agayeva said.
Large organizations like Harvesters say the number of families who need help has gone up 40% since last spring, and these little pantries are a way to say "I'm here for you."
The doors on the front of the pantry read: "Take what you need, leave what you can."
"And it kind of gives you the chills, it kind of makes you happy," Nixon said. "It makes me happy."
Nixon said she'd love to build another white pantry next to the existing one but dedicate it to necessities, like toiletries and diapers.
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