Barbara and Free Little Pantry are helping Gladstone families keep food on the table

Barbara and Free Little Pantry are helping Gladstone families keep food on the table

Free little pantry


Free Little Pantry at 121 Toolooa is a fresh concept brought to town by Barbara Nairne and succeeding through Gladstone’s generosity.

“If you need it, please take it,” she says. “Anyone in need can call in and pick up items that they need.”

Built on a concept spotted in the Sunshine Coast, Free Little Pantry is encouraging grassroots social justice in Gladstone. The founding principle of Free Little Pantry is to take what you need and donate what you don’t.

Removing the red tape from donating removes stigma, says Barbara. There is no need to register, no check ups, no regulations. If you need help, you will receive it – as simple as that.

Free Little Pantry “Hopefully we will find that the employment situation improves in Gladstone and not so many people are in need of assistance,” she said. “The smallest things can make a huge difference. Sometimes at the end of the pay cycle, keeping a roof over your head is prioritised higher than toilet paper. That’s when we help. When there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Free Little Pantry isn’t necessarily only for the disadvantaged, Barbara says, with everyone finding themselves victims of circumstance at times.

“I’ve helped people who have lost their wallet,” she said. “Young families waiting for assistance, or referrals from other agencies who can’t help with providing food.”

With a little help from the community, Free Little Pantry at 121 Toolooa is creating a more cohesive community in a way where the benefits are being reaped tangibly and without profits.

If you’re in a position to donate, purchasing just one non-perishable item along with your weekly groceries is plenty. Alternatively, a book that’s not longer required or an item that’s still usable from the pantry.

If you’re moving house or leaving town – think of the Free Little Pantry and who could benefit from your unwanted goods. There is a box outside the door at 121 Toolooa St for 24-hour donations.