Flagler County to open free library-pantry to encourage reading, help those in need

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Starting Monday, two Flagler County community centers will be opening a library-pantry called “Food for Thought” in an effort to get more residents reading.

On Feb. 20, the Haw Creek Community Center on 9257 County Road 304 and the Hidden Trails Community Center on 6108 Mahogany Boulevard will each have a “Food of Thought” kiosk, where residents can exchange non-perishable canned goods for books or vice-versa.

“Having a ‘Little Free Library-Pantry’ in each of these two locations will help us get books out to the residents in western Flagler County,” Library Director Holly Albanese said. “Our programs are about encouraging people to read, and we recognize it’s not always convenient to make the trip from out west to come to the library. This program has added benefit of helping us get food into the hands that need it.”

The kiosk can hold up to 100 books, will be open 24/7, and restocked monthly with books for all ages and in all genres.

General Services Director Mike Dickson said the “Food for Thought” program was a “spur-of-the-moment” idea that was inspired by a similar Clay County initiative.

“I thought we could combine books and food, and the name just popped into my head,” Dickson said.

If you’re interested in assisting, you can donate non-perishable food items, hygiene products or pet products to the Information Desk of the Flagler County Public Library Palm Coast Branch at 2500 Palm Coast Parkway NW.

“We ask that these donations are within the expiration date and unopened,” Albanese said. “We are very excited about getting everything up and running, and appreciate the generosity of our community, which always reaches out a helping hand.”

About the Author:

As a proud alumnus of Bethune-Cookman University, Kendra is a Jacksonville native, who loves all things lifestyle-related.