What Are the Little Cabinets of Food Popping Up on the Boise Bench?
It's not uncommon to be walking through your neighborhood or along the greenbelt and stumble across a small cabinet of books saying "leave one, take one." But ones filled with food? What's up with that?
You may be familiar with the book cabinets better known as "Little Free Libraries." The food filled cabinets are a similar concept and go by the name "Little Free Pantries" and are filled most commonly with non-perishable items like boxed pastas, rice, pasta sauce, Ramen noodles, oatmeal, protein/granola bars, etc. They're a unique way for neighbors to help other neighbors by "filling the gap" where traditional food banks fall short. Due to their size they can't completely fix food insecurity in a community, but they do give people in need access to a quick source of nutrition 24 hours a day, while a traditional food bank might be closed at the end of the business day.
In poor areas of the Treasure Valley, they are a hand up to neighbors in need. In more well to do neighborhoods, they're often stocked with fun after-school snacks for kids. It's such a cool concept that's getting off the ground in our area thanks to Boise State Student, Caitie Fredrickson.
Caitie is finishing up her college studies with an amazing Capstone project that will bring three LFPs to the Bench neighborhood. Her goal is to create one at Wright Community Church on Franklin, Red Rock Christian Church on Roosevelt and at a private residential home near the Boise Depot.
She's hoping to wrap up the project by this Saturday and is asking for help from our community to help stock this round of LFPs. To help complete the project, she's in need of plastic grocery bags for a neighborhood food drive as well as non-perishables to put in the cabinets.
If you'd like to make a donation to help an incredible project, you can contact Caitie through her post in the Boise Bench Dwellers Facebook Group. She's got a list of the most ideal foods to donate there as well!