The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Public ‘Little Free Pantry’ Erected for Those in Need

at 4:23 pm | By

Good Samaritans at work!

Americans have more expendable incomes than ever. Many of us can afford to buy $500 smartphones, vacations, go out to eat, and drop up to $2000 on laptops. But if you’re like me, you have guilt about treating yourself to fancy things when there’s so many disenfranchised people out out there. But what can you do besides throw money at causes or give a homeless person a buck or two? They say charity starts at home…

Do you have those Little Free Libraries in your town? They look like large mailboxes mated with birdhouses. But it’s what’s inside that counts: they contain free books you can leave, take, or swap. They encourage reading and generosity. In the same vein, one Arkansas woman got the idea to copy the Little Free Libraries and fill them with food and toiletries for the less fortunate to take and for good samaritans to fill.

the of little free pantry

Source: Facebook @The LIttle Free Pantry

Would you set one up?

How it Started

little free pantry with grey box

Source: Facebook @The LIttle Free Pantry

Jessica Mcclard of Fayetteville, Arkansas noticed The Little Free Libraries scattered about her town. She studied their success. “My feeling is little free structures both create space for neighborliness and address social problems,” McClard told the Huffington Post. McClard got the idea to address another social problem: homelessness. That’s how she set up The Little Free Pantry.

Getting It Off the Ground

little free pantry close up

Source: Facebook @The LIttle Free Pantry

McClard was donated $250 to setup the first Free Pantry, which was erected next to the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. Of course the project became an immediate success. The Little Free Pantry has over 10K fans on Facebook and has already inspired others to build free pantries in their own home towns.