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9 clever Little Free Pantries

The Little Free Pantry movement makes so much sense. It’s a “grassroots, crowd-sourced solution to immediate and local need,” as the group describes its mission. 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.

Take a look at some of the ways people are showing their generosity. It might just inspire you to start or reboot one in your neighborhood.

A retrofit for coronavirus

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 is the doors: Some Little Free Pantry owners are removing the pantry doors as an extra safety precaution.

Stunning mosaic doors

Double the generosity

Spreading sunshine

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.