Think of it like a Food Library.
Veronica Dabis and Henry Gutman have created a free standing food pantry in Berkeley, California that is open 24 hours a day. It's been going since October 2019. For us, it's about food rescue and addressing food insecurity on a daily basis.
We are feeding single Moms and Dads, Seniors, young kids who come by to get food for their families, people who live in their cars up the street and folks who are passing by who are experiencing homelessness. We serve 350 people a week.
Most of the people are housed in the neighborhood. We know that because some of the food needs to be cooked, like pasta or oatmeal.
It's anonymous, so anyone who needs food can come by not feel the stigma of going to a food bank. It is a way for someone to get a few extra food items that will save money that they don't have to spend on groceries.
All the food we put in cycles through it each day and it is astounding to us how much food is distributed organically through every week through this little pantry. The pantry is lovingly cared for and cleaned every day, and it is outside, so open 24 hours a day.
We pick up ACME bread from the bakery every Wednesday and all of this goes to the food pantry and directly to people who need food. It's amazing!
thank you so, so much!
Supporters of the
Rose Street Food Pantry
We are proud to be part of the LFP network! Little Free Pantries (LFPs) offer a zero-barrier access point to food to help fill the gaps in the food system. They support neighbors who are facing food insecurity while building micro-communities. They empower people to make an immediate change in their neighborhood.
LFPs are not intended to replace or interfere with the work food security agencies and groups do. They instead work in support of FSA’s to draw awareness to food insecurity issues and create community through collective action in neighborhoods. Little Free Pantries give neighborhoods and communities the ability to help fill gaps in our food system and are a no-barrier, 24/7 access point to food.
Why run your own Little Free Food Pantry?
It is for everyone. And these days, food prices are very high. It effects you whether you are housed or not. 95% of the people who use our food pantry are housed.
Every Wednesday we pick up 40-50 loaves of ACME bread and all of it has been distributed to our neighborhood by the next day. All of that gorgeous bread would have just gone to waste and thrown into a dumpster. If you run a little free pantry in your neighborhood, you can partner with local businesses who toss food at the end of the day.
During the pandemic, we have used it as a hub to give away 500 N95 masks, 500 pairs of black cotton socks, and tons of self care supplies.
By doing this project we have met so many of our neighbors. It continues to be a point of connection. And the best part: there is now a daily exchange of generosity on our street because of the pantry.
It really feels like it has a life of its own and I love that people who need it, can really rely on it.
Veronica Dabis and Henry Gutman, Founders