Little Free Pantries are feeding neighbors and nourishing neighborhoods

While out on a run, Jessica McClard noticed Little Free Libraries popping up all around Fayetteville, Arkansas. She would frequently stop by to check out the selection of books people would drop off or exchange.

© Littlefreepantry.org

© Littlefreepantry.org

“My feeling is little free structures both create space for neighborliness and address social problems,” Jessica told The Huffington Post. She then wondered if a similar concept could address other social problems. Then it dawned on her: “Books nourish. Food nourishes,” she told HuffPost.

© Littlefreepantry.org

© Littlefreepantry.org

That’s when the idea of a little free pantry was born, instead of books it would be filled with non-perishable food, toiletries and paper products.

She received a small grant of $250 for a community service project to build the pantry and on May 12, 2016 the first Little Free Pantry was opened at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville.  

Today there are nearly 400 Little Free Pantries spread all over the county. Each is uniquely designed and decorated, some made out of retired newspaper stands, vintage coolers, but most are crafted by hand. Small projects like Jessica’s first Little Free Pantry go to show that small actions within your community can start a wildfire of positivity and good deeds, sometimes spreading all across the country.

© Littlefreepantry.org

© Littlefreepantry.org

Jessica “encourages people to [build their own pantries]. They’ll be amazed at how much more the project gives back than they give to it.”

To create your own Little Free Pantry or learn more visit: www.littlefreepantry.org

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We hope this story inspires you to help out a neighbor or friend in need!