What is The Little Free Pantry?
The Little Free Pantry was an idea that started in May of 2016 in Fayetteville, AR, to support those dealing with food insecurity. The goal of this project was to bring the community together to provide easily accessible foods and goods to local individuals in need.
In most food pantries, you may be required to fill out an application or bring a photo ID. They also have set hours of operation restricting individuals looking for food support. The Little Free Pantry provides 24/7 access to food, without having to fill out any information.
With multiple locations, more people have an opportunity to obtain these goods if unable to walk or drive to a local food pantry center. The convenience of this project ensures everyone has access to free food and useful items no matter the circumstance.
Why Set up Little Free Pantries?
According to the Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap, approximately 115,480 individuals living in Denton County suffer with food insecurity. Out of that number, 41,140 of these individuals are children. This large amount of people needing assistance shows the importance of this project.
How Do I Get Involved?
Argyle Young Men’s Service League will take care of the installation and construction of the pantries. Once they are operational, there will be a need for sponsors to maintain and stock the units. Sponsors may include businesses, churches or nonprofits in Denton County.
Items that can be placed in the pantry may include canned goods, personal care items and paper goods. During cold weather months, pantries may also be stocked with mittens, gloves and scarves. Sponsors should have a group of individuals such as co-workers or members of an organization to continuously supply these pantries.
The Little Free Pantry project will create an environment that not only sparks up conversations but brings community-wide awareness to this issue.
Serve Denton hopes this project will provide a new source of food for that unknown group of people in need and bring light to this issue while unifying our community.
How are the Little Free Pantries Constructed?
The pantries are constructed out of cedar to withstand rot and insects. They are 15 inches tall in the front and 11″ tall in the back with a sloped roof. The outside is stained to match the natural appearance of cedar, and the outside is unstained.
The inside is unstained. The door has a plexiglass window, two self-closing hinges and a magnetic catch to keep the door closed. There is a small pull knob to open the door. It is supported on a cedar 4” x 4” post with a cedar 2” x 4” attached to the base. The post is buried two feet in the ground and is assembled with brass screws and wood glue.