Communities along the Route 1 corridor already have a growing network of Little Free Libraries — small outdoor boxes where you can take or leave a book for free.
Inspired by the success of those, a group of Hyattsville Girl Scouts from Troop 6899 has built the area’s first “little free food pantry” to help those dealing with food insecurity.
Located near St. Jerome Catholic Church and Hyattsville Elementary, the “Blessing Box” is filled with canned goods, pasta and other non-perishables.
“Take what you need, bring what you can. Above all, be blessed!” the box notes.
The box was built with $250 worth of materials from Community Forklift, a local nonprofit that trades secondhand building materials, and stocked initially with $400 worth of groceries bought with a $400 fundraiser at Chipotle.
The scouts told NBC Washington that the idea came up around Christmastime when they were discussing ways to help people facing hunger. They hoped the anonymous nature of the pantry would help those too embarrassed to go to a regular pantry.
If the pantry works, it’s an idea that other communities along the Route 1 corridor should copy, especially in areas near schools and places of worship.