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Couple creates 'Little Free Pantry' in Roswell neighborhood, addresses food insecurity

"It's just people helping people. Neighbors helping neighbors."

ROSWELL, Ga. — Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The Little Free Pantry sits on the corner of Mansell Circle in Roswell, a little lifeline for neighbors in need. 

"I stock the pantry two to three times a day, depending on how busy it is," Maya Pounds told 11Alive's Liza Lucas

Pounds and her husband built the pantry back in February, hoping to assist those struggling during the pandemic.

"We have pockets of neighborhoods that are that are very wealthy, and then we have pockets of neighborhoods that are not very wealthy," Pound explained. "People will drop off donations of food and diapers and toiletries and those kinds of things, and we have a lot of people that will come throughout the day and grab what they need."

A chef and baker, Pound's goal for the pantry is rooted in her own passion for food.

"Food insecurity is something that I try to use my gifts to help other people," she said, adding she and her husband are focused on a life of service. "I've been the person in need, and I've been the person that's able to give."

According to Pounds, many in the community have learned about the Little Free Pantry via social media. The community, in turn, has also stepped up keeping the pantry stocked from week to week, either through drop-off donations or by purchasing needed items on the pantry's wish list. 

The pantry is 'no questions asked,' Pound said, asking only that those who stop by take what need and leave what they can. The pantry not intended to be a long term solution, Pounds said. But she hopes it can fill the gap for anyone experiencing temporary hardship. 

"You can be completely fine and have money for groceries one week and then the next week you don't," Pounds said. "Everybody's situation is unique. It's not meant to sustain someone long term. There's amazing organizations for that, but I think that there will always be a need for just a few things here and there that you might need."

"It's just people helping people," Pounds said. "Neighbors helping neighbors."