WLLISTON, N.D. - A small tool with a big task, the Little Free Pantry in Williston is a crowd-sourced way one Williston woman is addressing a local need.
Anyone in town can take what food or toiletries they need, and give when they can at the pantry located in front of the Public Library. Little Free Pantry is a nationwide project, and creator of Little Free Pantry Williston Lakin Mahar says the success of the project in Bismarck will make it a success in Williston.
Leadership Williston members do a project every year, and Mahar says she decided this would be her’s, especially because there are a lot of people who could use it.
"A lot of people focus on the boom and that everybody is making so much money, and they don't realize that there still are people in need, and the people struggling with the higher rent. If we can help them out and not let them be forgotten, that's really all I want,” explained Mahar.
The paintings on the pantry were done by several children at the James Memorial Art Center, after Mahar raised $500 on Facebook to purchase the pantry kit. The librarians will store the extra items that don’t fit in the unit, and say the pantry is not just for people who can’t afford items, but also for anyone who needs to grab a snack.
Mahar says this is just the start, and encourages more people to put up little free pantries around town. Each unit costs around $300 on Etsy, and Mahar says she has $200 left over from her fundraiser for anyone who wants to start one.