The Little Free Pantries

 

 

“...before COVID-19 — 12% of King County adults experienced food insecurity. By June of this year, 18% more households in King County received food assistance, compared to January 2020. That’s an additional 17,300 households.”

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Who We Are - The Little Free Pantries Project -

We’re a group of Seattle-area community members working together to address food insecurity in our neighborhoods by placing small food pantries that can be accessed 24/7 to meet people’s short term needs for food and hygiene.

The pantry model is not intended to replace food banks and the work of emergency food services.  Pantries support these groups by filling a gaps in the system

What We Are About

Our growing network of pantries is seen by these groups as a viable, zero barrier, 24/7 access point to foods. Because our pantries are distributed throughout Puget Sound neighborhoods, they are an opportunity to address the need for culturally relevant foods for the community around the Pantry.

  • 100% volunteer-run project
  • 110 pantries built in 7 months
  • $5,500 raised through crowdsourcing and donations

Our Partners

We believe our neighborhoods are the core to any healthy community and by providing more accessible points for healthy, culturally relevant foods as well as opportunities for neighbors to help neighbors, we believe a neighborhood's resiliency strengthens.

We are partnering with cultural centers, places of worship, and nonprofits to provide a Little Free Pantry, at no cost, for installation at their location. It’s an opportunity to engage with the established communities these locations hold. They will share the LFP model with their community, encouraging regular donations that will be bolstered by the Project’s growing connections with sources of recovered food.

  • Mary’s Place
  • Northwest Harvest
  • Kent Community Foundation
  • El Centro de la Raza
  • Cascade Bicycle Club & Pedaling Relief
  • Bikeworks
  • Peacekeepers Society
  • Community Homes
  • No Child Goes Hungry
  • Beacon Hill Food Forest

What Are The Benefits?

We have found that schools and community-based organizations (cultural centers, community centers, faith based groups, social organizations) have members and extended communities that face food insecurity monthly, if not weekly, throughout the year.

  • Pantries help to foster a non-judgemental, shared economy of neighbors giving to and receiving from each other
  • 24/7, no barrier access point for food and hygiene
  • Mutual aid - giving as a way of solidarity rather than charity
  • People give what they can and take what they need without barriers
  • Neighbors supporting neighbors - establishing connections and building community

Goal

Build 100 more pantries by 3/1/2021, including 15 large pantries placed in front of community spaces.  What we need:

  • Funding to build pantries
  • Storage for pantry inventory
  • Donations of lumber which will significantly reduce the costs of building pantries
  • $2,100 Builds = 30 small pantries
  • 50 sq feet stores = 25 pantries
  • $3,000 Builds = 10 large pantries
  • 15  4x8 sheets of plywood = 30 small pantries

 

To get a complete view of our efforts since we began this project in March, visit our website. You’ll find a map, in addition to the resources we’ve created to encourage the empowerment of communities to build their own pantries.

Molly Harmon

Founder, The Little Free Pantries Project . thelittlefreepantries@gmail.com

www.thelittlefreepantries.org

 

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