"Be kind whenever possible."
- Dalai Lama
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before
starting to improve the world.”
- Anne Frank
Address food insecurity
in a creative way
Make food available for
anyone who needs it.
Create more connections in our neighborhood.
Provide an easy way to share resources and prevent food waste.
Hope is an embrace of the unknown. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things you can know beforehand.
- Rebecca Solnit
Meet Veronica and Henry who are designers and residents on Rose Street. They created The Rose Street Food Pantry and installed it October 26, 2020. They have high hopes that neighbors will contribute to it, and the "Take Something, Leave Something" concept will work. (It does.)
They also see it as a design solution to elevate the harvest from local fruit trees. Now, lemons, figs and guavas can be available on a shelf - not from a box on the ground. This makes a huge difference in how people perceive the value and edibility of food.
The first pantry was made of wood. It's a cabinet with 4 cubbies that Henry designed. It took 2 weeks to buy the hardware they needed and to print all of the signage.
Thanksgiving and Christmas
We organize two food drives in our West Berkeley (Westbrae) neighborhood. All of our neighbors donate food and we introduce the project with a flier and an empty gift bag to be filled with shelf stable food. The response is fabulous! Lots of food!
Nov 2020 - May 2021
Bi-monthly grocery trips to get food for the pantry. Supporters from next door have donated to help us keep it stocked, along with the food donations from our immediate neighbors who are supportive of the food pantry.
We installed a Gratitude Message Board on the side of the food pantry for people to leave messages and express themselves and their needs.
We announced when we would be getting a bread delivery and when we would put out perishable food. We can mark on the board when it was left at the pantry so people know how fresh it is.
Note: I recommend that if you leave leftover take out food or anything that is fresh, it's a good idea to put a post-it note on it with the time you left it so people will know it has not been sitting there all day.
In May 2021, we bought a new metal pantry that's blue with a generous donation from Jady M. So much more room for food!
We began a weekly pickup at ACME Bakery on San Pablo in Berkeley. ACME donates 4 huge bags of bread which we re-package in bread bags to keep the bread clean and safe. Everyone loves ACME and Wednesday is now officially "bread day" at the pantry. People who are in the know show up at 5:30 on Wednesdays for free bread.
We upgraded our signage that faces the street (new wood, new vinyl stickers) and the roof over the pantry, so that rain does not get into the shelving and soak the food. We continue to come up with design solutions for this project to improve it.