Little Food Pantries open across north Louisiana

Tech student Ethan Jeffus and Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker stand next to the food pantry located on Tech’s campus.

By Emma Stone

Louisiana ranks in the top five states with the highest rates of food insecurity and poverty. 

Ethan Jeffus, a student at Louisiana Tech, sought out to fight those numbers almost a year ago by opening the first of many little food pantries across north Louisiana. 

“The first food pantry I opened was in Sibley, Louisiana,” said Jeffus. “It’s a smaller town, so they don’t have a food bank. They have to go to Minden or Shreveport. So, the idea was to get something small to act as a resource for neighbors to help others.”

The little food pantries are small wooden boxes with glass doors. They each are held up on a stand and are open for anyone to donate food to.

In Ruston, there are currently three open. One is located by Tolliver Hall on Louisiana Tech’s campus, another is in front of the Boys and Girls Club, and the last is near the Christian Community Action’s food bank.

“The main difference is that the little free pantries are accessible 24/7,” said Jeffus. “If you’re planning to go somewhere but operating hours are closed, then you can stop by the little food pantry to hopefully get some food to hold you over.”

Most of the little food pantries have become self-sustaining as different clubs or groups will donate. 

“The biggest thing people need are hygiene items like simple essentials you use on an everyday basis. This would be your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant or soaps,” said Jeffus. 

Jeffus, also, keeps a storage of items and will stock the little food pantries if they begin to run low by himself. 

“That’s the best way to get connected with the project,” said Jeffus. “Community involvement is key to keeping this initiative going. Jump in and take something or help contribute to the need.”

Communities can register their own food pantry through the Little Free Pantry Louisiana Initiative. 

To do so, visit for more information or contact them by email with 

Residents can become involved by following and liking the Facebook page Little Free Pantry Louisiana as well. 

“It goes back to the idea, like in the olden days, when you could ask your neighbor for a cup of sugar,” said Jeffus. “It’s interesting to be a part of it and watching it grow. You can always have an idea that works out.”