Community turns Little Libraries into food, toilet paper-sharing stops amid coronavirus

Grocery stores have been hit hard during the novel coronavirus pandemic, inspiring some Good Samaritans to turn neighbourhood book-sharing libraries into miniature food pantries.

In response to the food and essentials shortages in stores, items like pasta, peanut butter, ramen and toilet paper are replacing books in those tiny honour-system libraries found in neighbourhoods across North America.

Twitter users have shared photos of the neighbourhood-run food and essentials banks, each offering different items up for grabs for those in need.

In Chicago, a free library featured cans of soup, tomatoes, almond milk and more, along with the note: “To help our neighbors affected by the COVID-19 crisis, this Little Free Library is converted into a Little Free Pantry. Take what you need and if you can, please donate what you can spare.”

Another Twitter user shared that her parents converted their library to a food shelf, too.

Milton Middle School in Milton, Wisc., also converted its official little library into a food and toiletry pantry.

Greg Metzger, executive director of Little Free Library, who spent years running a food shelf in Minneapolis, Minn., sang the praises of those making mini pantries in a Thursday blog post.

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“Bottom line, it is wonderful to support your neighbours. In fact, we imagine that is one of the reasons you are a steward — to help out your neighbours and community,” he wrote.

“If you want to add items of need to your library that you think would be helpful, that is completely up to you,” he continued. “We think helping one’s fellow person in this challenging time is great.”

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