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St John's is considering hosting a Little Free Food Pantry - Meeting March 12

A Little Free Food Pantry in Glencarlyn?

Little Free Food Pantry at LibrarySt. John’s is considering placing a Little Free Food Pantry (LFFP) on our grounds. A meeting will be held Tuesday, March 12 at 7 pm at St. John’s to discuss the project. Stephanie Hopkins, Arlington's Food Security Coordinator, will join us with a perspective on Arlington food insecurity, including the problem in our area of the county. The meeting is an opportunity for Glencarlyn residents to discuss the project with individuals who had supported the LFFP at Central Library for years. St. John’s wants to have full community input before making a final decision.

Food insecurity affects at least 7.1% of residents in Arlington. This means that over 16,000 of our neighbors are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food for all members of their households at some point during a year.

Surprisingly, the “Arlington County Food Security Strategic Plan” (page 4) reports “The highest rates of food insecurity are found in the Glencarlyn neighborhood at 14.6% and Buckingham/Ashton Heights neighborhoods at 14.5%”.

Glencarlyn residents have shown their concern by generously contributing thousands of pounds of food to Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) over the past few years. With the participation of the community, St. John’s Church has heavily supported AFAC through food and monetary donations. Additionally, volunteer parishioners participate monthly in AFAC’s food bagging program.

Little Free Food Pantries are an important resource for those who use them. A very successful one was established on the Central Library grounds in 2020 that had considerable community participation, ensuring the pantry was always stocked with nonperishable food. They made sure that the right types of food were stocked, and generally managed the operation of the pantry.

Unfortunately, the library closed that Little Free Food Pantry in 2023. The original organizers are seeking an alternate location and have asked St. John’s if they would host it.

The food pantry is a 4 X 4 foot box about 18 inches deep that sits atop four posts and is stocked with only non-perishable foods. Individuals in need of some food items can stop by at any time. The signage says “Take what you need, give what you can.”

St. John’s welcomes any thoughts that anyone would like to share. You can send an email to rector@stjohnsarlingtonva.org.

 

The above will be in the March Glencarlyn newsletter, The Village View.

The above article in pdf format VV_Article_Little_Food_Pantry.pdf

Free food pantry at the Unitarian Universalist Church facebook post.