'Little free libraries' are now turning into 'little free pantries' to help those in need

As grocery stores are seeing shortages in some cases, good Samaritan's are turning local book-sharing libraries into little food pantries.

As grocery stores are seeing many people stocking up on food and products—resulting in shortages, good Samaritan’s are turning local book-sharing libraries into little food pantries.

Global News reported that the move is in response to shortages in things like toilet paper, pasta, ramen and peanut butter in stores and books are being replaced with products like these. These honour system libraries can be found in many neighbourhoods throughout North America.

On Twitter many people have posted photos of the food and essentials banks and show the different items offered to those in need.

A free library in Chicago posted a note to go along with the foods it offered. It reads: “To help our neighbors affected by the COVID-19 crisis, this Little Free Library is converted into a Little Free Pantry. Take what you need and if you can, please donate what you can spare.”

Foxborough, Massachusetts is doing the same.

In North Carolina, they are supporting their community as well. Mount Airy Schools tweeted: “Central Office now has a blessing box and our staff has brought food to stock it. Everyone has jumped in to support our community!”

Another little free library was converted in California.

A woman in Woodbury, Minn. named Shelly Anderson helped to add to a little free pantry.

When speaking with CNN she said, “This is an uncertain time. I think being able to provide something to anyone is worth it.”

Anderson asked if the elementary school her kids attend could be turned into a pantry.

“After we got approval, we went through our pantry and found all the things that would be essential—toilet paper, paper towels, some noodles and fruits,” she said. “The food is forever fluctuating. People are taking what they need and putting in, so it’s great.”

One couple even opened a pantry that they plan to continue to run outside of their home. In a tweet they said, “My wife and I have officially opened our Little Free Pantry at our home at the corner of West Main and Pardee Street in Marshall, Wisconsin thanks to our friend Bob who helped build it! It is across from Farmers & Merchant Bank. It will be open 24/7, 365 Days a Year!”

Little Free Library executive director, Greg Metzger has run a food shelf in Minneapolis, Minn. for years.

In a blog post he said, “Bottom line, it is wonderful to support your neighbours. In fact, we imagine that is one of the reasons you are a steward — to help out your neighbours and community.”

“If you want to add items of need to your library that you think would be helpful, that is completely up to you,” he continued. “We think helping one’s fellow person in this challenging time is great.”