Little Free Pantries

Little Free Pantry is a grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local need. Whether meeting a need for food or a need to give, the Little Free Pantry facilitates neighbors helping neighbors, building community.

Who is the Little Free Pantry for?

  • The LFP is for anyone who is not easily able to meet everyday food and personal needs.
  • The LFP might stock after-school snacks for neighborhood kids or that "cup of sugar" you never have when you need it.
  • The LFP is for those who want and/or need to give. It helps reduce food waste.

How does the Little Free Pantry differ from other food pantries?

  • The LFP is small, so it cannot stock the quantity and variety other food pantries can; therefore it should not be relied on for meeting pervasive need.
  • Many food pantries require application before use and have set hours of operation. Anyone may access the LFP at any time.
  • Food pantries operate as service providers, those who use them as clients. The LFP dissolves that professional boundary. Whether stocking or taking stock, everyone approaches the LFP the same way, mediating the shame that accompanies need.
  • Food pantries are critical in addressing food insecurity. But some fall through the cracks. The LFP is a safety net.
  • The LFP is a proving ground, testing concepts like community, charity, justice, and sharing economy.

What should be stocked?

  • Contributors are encouraged to stock according to need.
  • Please do not leave sharps (razors), chemicals, previously worn clothing (which adds bulk), or anything illegal.
  • Generally, canned vegetables and proteins, personal care items, and paper goods go fast. Kid-friendly non-perishables, crayons, and inexpensive party favor items are great for supplies for August!

How can I participate?

Where are they?

We have helped set up the following pantries thus far:

Resources for Pantry Stewards

Are you a renter? Please have your landlord complete our Tenant Authorization Letter.

Tips for Success

  • Join our Cooperation Humboldt Little Free Pantry Facebook group and post about successes and/or challenges with your pantry project, including asking other group members to drop off donations when you’re running low (be sure to include your specific location).
  • Anytime you’re hosting a gathering at your home or office, consider requesting that your guests bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the pantry.
  • Include brochures or signage that clearly indicate that donations are welcome.
  • Talk with your neighbors about the project. Let them know why it’s important to you, and directly ask for their help/support.

Listen to an interview with Cooperation Humboldt Board Member and Food Team Coordinator Tamara McFarland discussiong our Little Free Pantry Program: