We are 2 designers (one architect and one graphic designer) and the main reason we are doing this project is because it connects us all to each other. Creating a food pantry for your neighborhood is a simple way for us all to take care of each other in a hyperlocal way and it prevents food waste. Here is our story.
Five months ago, we started a free standing Food Pantry on our street. It's a lot like a Little Free Library, where people are invited to "Take Something and Leave Something."
Turns out, it's become very popular. 50 people interact with it every day, 24 hours a day. We restock it 3 times a day. Oatmeal and bars in the morning. At lunch we put cans of hearty soup and provisions that are portable, and lemons, apple and bananas when we have them. We leave water and PBJ and ham sandwiches at night and they are gone by morning.
It's actually kind of astounding to us how much food cycles through every week through this little pantry.
Our ballpark estimate that we distribute at least $2000 of food every month to families, seniors, single parents, teens and kids in the area.
So that's $10,000 of food so far that has been shared, donated and kept from landfill. Our website has photos from our shopping trips to Trader Joe's and TARGET just for the pantry. We augment what our neighbors donate with groceries we buy for the Rose St Inventory. We only buy high quality food... and we care for the pantry every day with a lot of love :)
Our neighbors drop food by most days and we are so grateful!!!
But sometimes it is empty. It really is up to us to stock it and keep it clean. We consider ourselves the stewards of the pantry.
We buy food with cash donations that we receive from people who support what we do. Everyone around here uses it. It is for anyone who wants to donate food or needs food.
We are working on a 10 Step Guide to show you how to create your own stand-alone food pantry. It will be downloadable on our site. If you want us to send it to you, leave us a note when you donate!
Help us create a movement where we can actually do something very tangible about food insecurity in our own neighborhoods.
We love doing this project, and we would love your support if you feel inspired. We go through a LOT of food every week!