The First Little Free Pantry Pops Up in Arkansas Inspired by Little Free Libraries

Riffing on the thriving Little Free Library movement, one woman in Fayetteville, Arkansas has started the first Little Free Pantry.

Jessica McClard’s idea is simple: rather than leaving or taking a book, people leave and take non-perishable food and household goods, including toothpaste, garbage bags, deodorant and toilet paper. Those with surplus supplies leave them and those in need are welcome to take them.

The project is brand new and gauging its ongoing success will take time, but support for the pantry was immediate. On its first day, the Little Free Pantry Facebook Page received more than 800 “likes.”

For McClard, an avid runner who regularly stops to browse her local Little Free Library, the pantry gives people a way to easily contribute to their community. A recent Facebook update reads, “Went to re-stock the LFP, and someone beat me to it! Thank you, good people of NWA [Northwest Arkansas]...felt like Christmas morning.”

“I think it’s about community and people’s need to want to participate in something that’s actionable and manageable and I think this is that, " McClard told a local television program. “I’d hoped that it would be something that would speak to people and it has been and that’s pretty special and overwhelming and I feel really grateful and hopeful that it will help people.”

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