Based upon the Little Free Libraries concept, Little Free Pantries are
a grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local need. Whether a need for food or a need to give, mini pantries help neighbors feed neighbors, nourishing neighborhoods.
Although this movement preceded the COVID-19 crisis, it fits in very well with the need for food, exacerbated by the lock down and rising unemployment rates.
A bit of history:
Jessica McClard launched the grassroots mini pantry movement on May 2016 in Fayetteville, AR, when she planted the Little Free Pantry Pilot, a wooden box on a post containing food, personal care, and paper items accessible to everyone all the time no questions asked. She hoped her spin on the Little Free Library®concept would pique local awareness of food insecurity while creating a space for neighbors to help meet neighborhood food needs.
A little over a month later, CrystalRock Cathedral Women’s Ministries planted Blessing Box in Ardmore, OK. By August 2016, the movement was global. Throughout the US and internationally, the grassroots mini pantry movement continues growing and moving.
They have a map where you can find a Little Free Pantry near you. I found this one in the Charlottesville, Virginia area.
Little Free Pantries provide plans on how to build the library structure and offer no guidelines on what might be included. Some pantries offer nonperishable food items; others also offer cleaning supplies.