~Take what You Need, Leave What You Can~
The Free Little Pantry is currently located on the first floor of The New Orleans Healing Center underneath The Grand Hall Staircase. This newly-renovated area currently houses two bookshelves, signage, and a lockable gate to keep the pantry open during normal-business hours. For the past 5 months, the New Orleans Healing Center has been working to alleviate the stress of food insecurity in our community. With the help of our neighbors, the Little Free Pantry was conceived to bring food, toiletries, and other goods to families who need it. We offer these donations in a positive and non-judgemental space. Every donation makes an impact. Take what you need, leave what you can.
The Little Free Pantry allows individuals to drop off extra food or pick up needed food in a welcoming and non-judgmental space. By supporting 28 different independent businesses and organizations, The New Orleans Healing Center sustains the emotional, physical, nutritional, cultural, spiritual and financial health of the surrounding community. The New Orleans Healing Center mostly serves community members from the surrounding four neighborhoods including; St. Roch, St. Claude, Bywater and Marigny. Although the demographics and income levels for each neighborhood vary greatly, the poverty levels for each neighborhood are still well-above the national level. The poverty levels are as follows;
• St Roch- 37.70 percent of population fall below national poverty level
• St Claude- 31.40 percent of population fall below national poverty level
• Bywater- 18.50 percent of population fall below national poverty level
• Marigny- 21.40 percent of population fall below national poverty level
These high poverty levels lead to an increase of food insecurity for individuals and families. The New Orleans Healing Center serves as a premier location for a neighborhood food pantry because of the large traffic flow of individuals continuously moving throughout our space. Additionally, individuals can utilize the pantry while accessing other free or affordable services including; attending multiple support groups, supporting incarcerated family and friends by paying commissary on a machine housed on the first floor, utilizing one of our many mental and physical health practitioners at reduced or no cost, or swapping a book from our newly installed Little Free Library. The Little Free Pantry continues to position The New Orleans Healing as a premier gathering spot for accessible and affordable goods and services in the neighborhood.
Those interested in donating can drop off items directly into the little Free Pantry or drop it to the NOHC Administration Office Suite 260. Below are items that are particularly in demand.
- Canned vegetables and proteins
- Fruit Cups
- Small-Serving Snack Sizes
- Small bags of nuts, pretzles, etc…
- Premade meals to be heated
- Canned pastas and other ready-to-eat meals
- Feminine products
- Hygeine products (small sizes)
- School Supplies (small sizes)
More Information on Free Little Pantries
(Taken from littlefreepantry.org)
- The LFP is small, so it cannot stock the quantity and variety other food pantries can. For this reason, it should not be relied on for meeting pervasive need.
- Many food pantries require application before use and have set hours of operation. Anyone may access the LFP at any time.
- Food pantries operate as service providers, those who use them as clients. The LFP dissolves that professional boundary. Whether stocking or taking stock, everyone approaches the LFP the same way, mediating the shame that accompanies need.
- Food pantries are critical in addressing food insecurity. But some fall through the cracks. The LFP is a safety net.
- The LFP is a proving ground, testing concepts like community, charity, justice, and sharing economy.