A Little Free Pantry movement is a “grassroots, crowd-sourced solution to immediate and local need.” The pantries — which get their name from the popular Little Free Library concept — allow neighbors to give or take food for free as needed.
Some people make special boxes for the pantries; others repurpose already existing spaces. Either way, these boxes help fight hunger and show neighborly love — in the best of times and the worst of times.
Take a look at some of the ways people are showing their generosity and creativity with their Little Free Pantry, or in some instances, a combo or retrofit. It might just inspire you to start or reboot one in your neighborhood.
A retrofit for coronavirus
Seen in my Chicago neighborhood.
Sign says “To help our neighbors affected by the COVID-19 crisis, this Little Free Library is converted to a Little Free Pantry. Take what you need and if you can, please donate what you can spare!” pic.twitter.com/HtrUHNv9BG
— Ashley Hamer (@smashleyhamer) March 18, 2020
The movement began long before COVID-19 changed everything, but the concept is especially fitting right now. As Jessica McClard, who started the pantry movement in Arkansas, told CNN, “This concept is made for this moment because we can maintain social distancing and also, there are a lot of people hurting right now.”
The only difference with this example is the doors: Many Little Free Pantry owners are removing the doors as an extra safety precaution.
Stunning mosaic doors
Double the generosity
On a college campus
Putting a little daily bread in a bread box
Inside a pre-school
Groovy artistic flair
At the playground
Editor’s note: This story has been updated since it was first published in July 2017.
9 clever Little Free Pantries
Inspired by the Little Free Library project, these “take what you need, leave what you can” boxes are filled with food instead of books.