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What's the Matter With Little Free Food Pantries?

They highlight food insecurity, without doing much to take a bite out of it.
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Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Since its founding in May 2016, Little Free Pantry has worked to address food insecurity at the neighborhood level in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and beyond. Jessica McClard launched Little Free Pantry after she began to see Little Free Libraries pop up along her jogging route. The concept is simple: Adapt the give-a-book, grab-a-book model to foodstuffs and household toiletries. Give what groceries you can, take what groceries you need.

As far as she knows, the Little Free Pantry she built at her church, Good Shepherd Lutheran, was the first in the country. The last time she checked, it was stocked with canned goat milk, instant-rice meals, feminine hygiene products, and lots and lots of oatmeal.