MILTON, Wis. -

As a new twist on Little Free Libraries, Hope Lutheran Church in Milton has started a Little Free Pantry.

Pastor Garrett Struessel said the idea came from a church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Instead of books, the pantry is filled with supplies like food, toiletries and cleaning products.

“We’re really excited about it,” Struessel said. “It’s really a neat idea and a great opportunity for us to give to the community and serve and live out our faith.”

Like Hope Lutheran, other churches around the country have started pantries of their own.

“The idea behind it is one Little Free Pantry may not change the world, but a million of them might change the world,” Struessel said.

The church started planning in late spring and raised money over the summer. The pantry was built in September, installed in October and dedicated by the congregation in early November.

Anyone can use the pantry at any time.

“When you look at statistics and families in Rock County, the people living in poverty seems to grow each year,” Struessel said. “Everybody has a point in their lives when they’re in need, and this might address that for some people.”

He hopes others in the community will be inspired to donate to the pantry or start one of their own.

“We’re hoping it will generate more generosity in our whole community and that it will be a reflection of God’s love,” Struessel said.