Coronavirus

New Jersey Middle School Converts ‘Little Free Libraries’ Into ‘Little Free Pantries’

Now, instead of books, the public boxed bookcases will contain non-perishable food items for those facing food insecurity

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What to Know

  • A middle school in Linden New Jersey has converted its Little Free Libraries into "Little Free Pantries" to help those with food insecurity during the pandemic
  • Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhood book exchanges -- typically in the form of public bookcases placed near sidewalks. The community is generally encouraged to share books through these public boxes
  • Little Free Library locations have stood at the Soehl Middle School – one on the Elm Street and one on the Henry Street side – for about year, but they have taken on a new role as mini-pantries designed to help those in need

A middle school in Linden New Jersey has converted its Little Free Libraries into "Little Free Pantries" to help those with food insecurity during the pandemic.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that promotes neighborhood book exchanges -- typically in the form of public bookcases placed near sidewalks. The community is generally encouraged to share books through these public boxes.

Little Free Library locations have stood at the Soehl Middle School – one on Elm Street and one on Henry Street – for about year, but they have taken on a new role as mini-pantries designed to help those in need.

Now, instead of books, the public boxed bookcases will contain non-perishable food items for those facing food insecurity.

“These are such uncertain times right now, and I wanted to find a way that our school can help,” Soehl Middle School Principal Isabella Scocozza said in a statement. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase food, and many residents are uncomfortable frequenting stores during this time. The Little Free Pantries are a great way to provide non-perishable food and goods to our Linden community.”

Scocozza said that Soehl teachers have helped keep the pantries stocked, but everyone is invited to do so.

“Residents are encouraged to take what they need or to give what they have to our Little Free Pantries at Soehl Middle School,” she said.

In addition to the pantries, Linden Public Schools continue to distribute grab-and-go lunches every weekday to any student in the district who needs one. Pick-up is available between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Linden High School’s Ainsworth Street entrance, School No. 5’s rear entrance, and School No. 2’s main entrance on 17th Street.

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