FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Forward Indiana has populated Fort Wayne with colorful “Community Pantries,” an idea similar to a library.

If you have extra nonperishable food, you can drop it off in a pantry. If you have a need, you can take food out of it.

With 31 pantries in Fort Wayne, you’ve probably seen one of these colorful boxes. For those outside of the area, they’re expanding to Gary soon.

“A coalition of churches and community members in Gary have seen what we’ve done here in Fort Wayne, and they reached out,” said Forward Indiana’s Carlos Marcano, who considers himself a steward of the boxes.

A total of 10 pantries will be shipped off the first weekend of December, but until then they will be on display at Firefly Coffeehouse.

They were painted by a group of muralists and community volunteers, each with their own unique flair.

Forward Indiana’s Sarah Thompson thinks that the visual aspect of the boxes brings the community together, which makes them more than boxes that just hold food.

“We believe that this pantry program is more than just the food that goes into it and the food that comes out of it,” said Thompson.

One of those artists is Keileigh Dantzer. The box she designed is a play off of “Froot Loops.” Although many will remember the cereal as a quick and sweet breakfast, her inspiration for the box is a little different.

“When my sister and I were young, any time my dad had to disappoint us he would say ‘I’m sorry to pee on your fruit loops’ instead of rain on your parade,” said Dantzer.

Whatever the story behind each box, Forward Indiana is excited to deploy pantries that are both aesthetically pleasing and practically functional.

“We are excited and honored that the people in Gary were inspired by us just as we were inspired by other mutual aid coalitions that came before us, but it’s definitely bittersweet because it means, obviously there are folks in Gary, that are also struggling with food insecurity,” said Thompson.

You can donate to Forward Indiana by using their page on Action Network.