A local Waxahachie couple has a heart for God and for people in general. That is why they organized their own small, independent food bank of sorts in February of 2017. Sonny and Kay Sides have been assisting others in need by supplying food and other basic essentials through their drive-by “Waxahachie Little Pantry”.

Since the pantry’s existence, the caring Christian couple has seen a mix of hard times and good times. But Mr. Sides says he’s never seen the need quite so great as in recent days amid the pandemic.

He reports, “My wife and I are doing good and staying healthy. But to keep ourselves safe and to aid in keeping our distance from the general public, we encourage anyone that feels led, to either put items directly in the Pantry or on our front porch. Our home address is: 304 W. Fifth St. Any donation is certainly appreciated.

“We are conveniently located in the center of town, just one block east of Ferris Avenue (which is our north and south ‘main’ street), and right behind the Taco Casa restaurant. We have a small pantry attached to our fence, and we have 24/7 surveillance cameras to make sure that every transaction is recorded for everyone’s protection.”

Mrs. Sides says, “We offer free, non-perishable food items to anyone in need. A person interested in obtaining some of the food items simply drives / walks / or pedals up to the pantry boxes on our west-side fence, and they can anonymously pick and choose the items they would like to take for free. And in general, our patrons … usually only pick a few items that they need on that particular day. It’s a system that has been working out well for us since its inception in 2017. Our motto is: ‘We cannot feed everybody, but we can feed somebody.’ ”

As for food donations, she elaborates, “Although anything non-perishable is needed, we are low on the following items right now: 1 lb. dried pinto beans, boxed macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and sauce, and really any type of canned goods – the more the variety, the better.”

“The mission of ‘The Waxahachie Little Pantry’ is simple,” Mrs. Sides says. “It is to offer grocery assistance at no cost to the participant. However, in the past couple of months, our storage room of staples has diminished, while the demand remains greater than ever before.”

The Sides are seeking help from the local community in feeding those who may be down on their luck, out of a job, and / or dealing with health-related issues.

“While the needs of so many are rampant right now”, shares Mr. Sides, “we are thankful the Little Pantry is there for them. The Waxahachie community has continued to show true kindness with those in dire need during these trying and uncertain times. And since the pandemic, we have had more different people coming for the first time to try-out our ‘free food’ pantry.”

He comments, “We received an anonymous Amazon shipment a few days ago, and we were so blessed by someone who chose to remain a mystery donor. My wife and I are so blessed that there are so many people out there that truly care about the wellbeing of others.”

Some other heartwarming stories are shared on the couple’s Facebook page, called “Waxahachie Little Pantry.” One of those is about an elderly gentleman who was a veteran. He came to the Little Pantry a few days ago; they had never seen him before. After the man took a few items, Mr. Sides went out and asked him if he could use some frozen chicken nuggets, too.

In reply, the stranger said, “Sure! I will take anything you can spare.” He seemed so genuinely appreciative, that he turned as he left and said, “God bless you.”

Just last week, the Sides recognized one of their regulars who is experiencing homelessness: He came walking up and had taken some items from the pantry. When the man realized another person had rolled up in their car behind him, he turned to the other guy and handed him the items he had previously taken for himself.

Kindness can also be contagious, and thanks to the generosity of people like Sonny and Kay Sides, many local residents are being fed by their small local pantry, along with other major food banks and pantry companies in Ellis County and all throughout the state.

If anyone would like to make a monetary donation, the Little Pantry has a PayPal account, waxahachielittlepantry@gmail.com, or you can drop off a check in the Sides’ mail slot at their house, or mail it directly to 304 W. 5th Street, Waxahachie, TX 75165.