ST. CLOUD -- It's like a tiny free library, except rather than put in books you put in food items, toiletries, hygiene products and school supplies.

"We actually saw one on Facebook and figured that would be a great idea to have in our community," says Jason Jaques, a member of Tri-County Homeless Alliance.

After seeing many families that can't always make it to a food shelf, the Tri-County Homeless Alliance decided to start the first-ever tiny free pantry in St. Cloud, for anyone that's less fortunate to use on any given day.

The first pantry will be installed this weekend at Peace United Church of Christ on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Eighth Street. The Alliance has a few other locations in mind that they would like to establish by next summer.

The Alliance will accept non-perishable food items such as rice, macaroni and cheese, cans of soup and bread. However, as the weather gets colder, perishable food items will also be accepted.

"You can bring the food and put it straight in the pantry. There is no formal paperwork or process."

Jaques says the pantry is open for anyone and encourages the community whenever they are picking up groceries, to pick up an extra box of macaroni and cheese to drop off.

"A one dollar purchase can make the difference of a child going hungry on any given night."

Some of the food items in the tiny free pantry. Rebecca David, WJON.
Some of the food items in the tiny free pantry. Rebecca David, WJON.