Kirkwood resident and students battle hunger with Little Free Pantry

KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI) – To borrow a line from the film `Field of Dreams`, 'If you build it they will come.'

And chances are they`ll help keep this tiny pantry filled.

'Aloha Laulima,' says Jeni Ono, Aloha Laulima Little Free Pantry Owner.  'It`s the little free pantry.'

Translated, the Aloha Laulima means 'loving hands.'

In Kirkwood this fourth grade teacher is tackling hunger just steps away from the football field and Wednesday afternoon, a practicing marching band.

'Every day I check it when I leave and when I come home and there`s always something coming in or going out,' says Ono.

As the pantry plans began to form, a group of friends and former students decided to take a page from the tiny libraries sprouting up around the region.

'We kind of helped chose the colors so the lavender and light grey and then we painted the door and roof and everything,' says Nina Teckman standing next to friend Olivia James who helped paint the pantry.

'We`d pick up ideas from little free pantries and looked at a lot of the pictures online,' says Jennifer Teckman.

Since March they`ve learned what works, canned goods, boxes of non-perishables and granola bars with no melty chocolate.

'I did learn that once people started using it it`s easy to keep an open thing cause no one takes everything and no one puts so much in there that it`s crammed,' says Wilson Ono, Boy Scout and pantry watchman.  'It`s sort of a good balance.'

And if more free little libraries and tiny little pantries start popping up all over, well isn`t that a miniscule real estate movement we can all get behind?