As food insecurity grows during COVID-19, Little Free Pantries flourish
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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought high unemployment, and with more people struggling financially, food insecurity.
One way more and more community members are helping their neighbors is through a grassroots effort: Little Free Pantries. They resemble Little Free Libraries, only instead of books, they are stocked with boxed goods, canned goods and other food donated by community members to be used by passersby in need.
Jessica McClard launched the movement in 2016 to help combat food insecurity in her home state of Arkansas. She noticed Little Free Libraries in her neighborhood and realized that anything might go inside. “They even look like kitchen cabinets,” she said.
By her count, there are now more than 1,000 Little Free Pantries across the country. They are set up and maintained by individuals. About a third of them have opened since the pandemic began.
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