My Two Cents
October 6, 2019, 12:00 AM

Here’s something kind of cool. Little Free Pantries.

They look like those house-shaped boxes with Plexiglas doors that stand in front of people’s homes and at the edge of city parks.

“Take a book; Leave a book”.

We have one right here in the Christian Temple playground that sprung up like a wildflower around the time we painted the mural on the sidewalk. A few people keep track of the box, making sure the books are appropriate and that nothing other than books sneaks in. Otherwise it works all by itself.

A Little Free Pantry ( works the same way providing a different kind of sustenance. Once it’s built and initially stocked with non-perishable food, toiletries and information about more formal ways to seek assistance, people are welcome to come and visit. Take a tube of toothpaste. Leave a can of corn. Take a flyer with community assistance information (without having to ask someone for it). Leave that shampoo bottle that’s been in your basement for a while. People who patronize the Little Free Pantry are able to do so without the stigma that can sometimes accompany a visit to the local food bank. While there, they are free to grab something out of need or convenience. But they are also free to leave something the next time. And to enjoy the feeling that comes from being part of a neighborhood that cares.

Maybe the best thing about this? Like our playground lending library, this idea came to us from one of our neighbors, who is interested in building the box and wonders if there might be a few of us in the church and community who might like to join the fun.

What do you think? This could be a great way to deepen our neighborhood welcome while providing an on-ramp to more formal assistance for people who are understandably reluctant to ask for help. A Little Free Pantry box on our grounds would be a great way to live out those opening sentences we say every Sunday. “As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to God’s table, as God has welcomed us.”

Not a bad thought to ponder on World Communion Sunday.

Welcome to worship!