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Little Free Pantry - Promoting a Healthier Southwest Louisiana
7/5/2017 8:27:02 AM



Little Free Pantry

Promoting a Healthier Southwest Louisiana


An initiative that began in Fayetteville, Arkansas to help relieve food insecurities in local Arkansas neighborhoods, the Little Free Pantry project has spread to many states across the United States. Now, the Little Free Pantry project has taken root in Louisiana, a movement that started in New Orleans and will come soon to neighborhoods in Southwest Louisiana.

Introduced to Lake Charles by the Lake Charles Happy Hour Rotary Club, the Little Free Pantry (LFP) allows members of the community to contribute food, toiletries, and other dry goods and hygiene-related products via neighborhood Little Free Pantry boxes. The mission behind LFP, in the words of Brian Pitre, a member of the Lake Charles Happy Hour Rotary Club and a pioneer of the project, is "to provide small, low-risk items for free, 24-hours-a-day to anyone who may need them.” The Little Free Pantry allows one person to give back while allowing another to receive help, all on a local voluntary basis.

The Lake Charles Happy Hour Rotary Club, according to Pitre, "has dedicated its entire club and all of its subcommittees to facilitating this project” because they recognize LFP’s potential and the benefits that LFP would bring to this community. The project’s official sponsor for the first Pantry box is the Partnership for a Healthier Southwest Louisiana, a partnership that exists to "encourage, educate, and empower our communities through programs like LFP to promote and develop a healthier Southwest Louisiana.”

The first Little Free Pantry in Southwest Louisiana will be installed and begin serving members of the community this summer. This LFP will operate as a pantry and a library, offering old and new books in addition to pantry items and hygene products, and will be located on Division Street in Lake Charles, across from Episcopal Day School (EDS). Future locations for LFPs in the area are still being determined.

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