A new box stand with the words "Little Pantry, take what you want, leave what you can," written on the front is located next to the Franklin First United Methodist Church on Kentucky Street.

The junior high girls from FUMC put up the Little Pantry on Nov.13 as a service project.

"They just have a really strong heart, that group does, for the homeless, for people that are in need and we just said what kind of service project do you want to do and that is what they come up with," said Emma Calvert, child and youth director at FUMC.

There are about eight to 10 girls that started the project, but the rest of the youth group helped and will continue to keep track of the Little Pantry. She said they will check the box periodically to see what needs to be added.

"Anytime we are at church we will check [the box]," Calvert said.

She added that people have already frequented the stand and the group has restocked several items since building the project.

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"This is open to anyone at all that needs assistance with food, feeding their family or laundry detergent, a mother that maybe can't afford diapers," Calvert said.

She said the first thing the girls talked about was where to place the Little Pantry, they wanted it accessible, but not out in the open so people would feel comfortable taking what they need.

"That was a location the girls felt like people would feel safe going to," Calvert said. "They wanted it out of the way of the main traffic and this way they can come during the day and no one is going to notice and also at night it is there."

The youth worked on the Little Pantry over the course of several weeks on Wednesdays at the church.

"They got it going and I am really proud of them," Calvert said.

Inside the Little Pantry are canned goods with the tab for easy opening, tooth brushes, tooth pastes, baby food, diapers, granola bars, fruit cups, socks, Vienna sausages and other non-perishable items.

Calvert said any donations can be brought into the church, which will be kept with their inventory or put directly in the Little Pantry. She said people have asked about donating blankets and jackets, though they are working on how to fulfill that request with such small space.

"If anybody wants to bring anything, they are welcome to," Calvert said. "Nothing will be turned away."

The plan is to have the box stay up year around and change the items out depending on the season and needs of the people.

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