PAY IT FORWARD | Little Free Pantry feeds Hampstead's hungry
HAMPSTEAD, Md. (WBFF) - Two or three days a week, 10-year-old Makenzie Greenwood has an unconventional after-school stop for a fifth-grader.
"We keep cans on this shelf and we have food in there," Makenzie says as she walks through the chapel building at St. John's United Methodist Church in Hampstead.
Makenzie opened Hampstead's Little Free Pantry, in January 2017, offering the community to take whatever they need.
"I saw a Little Free Library, like, 'Give a book, take a book,' so I thought, why not put one here in Hampstead," Makenzie said.
For more than a year, she and her mom, Jennifer Greenwood, have been stocking shelves with donations from the community.
Makenzie said: "We've had more than 300 people take food and 400 donate. I never expected that much growth. It's really amazing; I never intended it."
Makenzie's mom, Jennifer, said: "She's always been exceptionally empathetic. I wasn't surprised when she came to me and said she wanted to do something to help other people. I thought her idea was great."
Makenzie chose to make the pantry anonymous, with only a log to track supply and demand.
It makes Makenzie feel good to know she's helping hundreds of people - "100 percent positive, yes!"
She said: "If you walk through Hampstead, you might not see people who need this food. Then, you open something like this up, and you have more than 300 people taking food. It's very unexpected."
That's why she was selected as the winner of Pay it Forward.
With the $500 winnings, the fifth-grader has her eyes set on growth.
"I didn't know it was going to be $500. That's a game-changer, because we can do so much with that," Makenzie said. "We're going to start a Little Free Pantry grant so we can give money to someone to open a Little Free Pantry in their community."
If you would like more information about Hampstead's Little Free Pantry visit their Facebook page.