Happy & Inspirational

People Are Filling Their Local Little Free Libraries With Food Donations During Coronavirus

This is such a nice gesture during an uncertain time!

Over the past week, an outpouring of kindness has been playing out on my Nextdoor feed. One neighbor has an extra tray of homemade enchiladas available for any family in need. Another is organizing a “bear hunt” where we put teddy bears in our windows for children to spot while out on walks. Toilet paper donations, Costco runs for the elderly, and various “how is everyone doing?” posts are flooding the neighborhood social networking site.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Nextdoor was often a forum of grumpy — usually trivial — rumbles. Now, amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, many are stepping up for a greater good and wondering: “How can I help my neighbors during this stressful time?” And they’re doing so in a creative manner as we practice social distancing or even sheltering in place methods to help prevent the spread of the virus.

One idea that’s gaining some momentum on social media: Adding canned goods and non-perishables to the neighborhood Little Free Library outposts so that they double as community pantries. Not only does this help provide food for those in your community who are financially insecure amid mass layoffs and furloughs, but it also abides by the rules of social distancing.

Twitter user @smashleyhamer shared a photo of a Little Free Library in her Chicago neighborhood that 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!”

On Instagram, the #littlefreepantry has a few thousand posts like this one from Instagram user @foxeslovelemons about a Little Free Pantry that was opened up so that neighbors can share non-perishable foods, personal care items and art and school supplies.