Neighborhood’s ‘Little Free Library’ converts to mini food bank

Neighbors helping neighbors by coming together to support those getting hit hard by coronavirus pandemic

As more and more people are infected by COVID 19, more and more people are becoming concerned.

Residents at the corner of Knight Street and Belvedere Avenue in the Riverside-Avondale neighborhood are turning that concern into a sense of community.

Neighbors helping neighbors --not just one or two, but several coming together to support those getting hit hard by the pandemic.

“Everyone here always has everyone’s back. It’s kind of nice to know you have a community there in a crisis,” explained 16-year-old Charlotte Holley.

At the center of this community -- a Little Free Library.

“It’s a spot where people can come donate books or get books. It was part of the charm of the house. It just made it even better," said Blake Burdett, who owns the corner lot where the library stands.

Within the past few days, the books have been removed and the Little Free Library has become a bank.

“Charlotte had the idea. They came to me, and I thought it was a great idea," Burdett said. " I said, ‘Of course!’ They started stocking it, and I put some items in there. Several neighbors have been coming and putting stuff in there."

Holley said there was some concern the books could be contaminated with people pulling them out and putting them back, so they opted for something useful to share instead.

Holley said the “library” now holds ramen, canned spaghetti, crackers, canned vegetables, tuna, pasta, popcorn and the always coveted -- toilet paper.

“We have been trying to keep stocked up because that is very popular,” Holley said. "We’re filling it up with food so that people who are unable to get to the store or they are in danger of losing their jobs, don’t have to worry about eating during this epidemic.”

Across the street from the Little Free Library, more community kindness.

“I have bubbles, sidewalk chalk, little cars for boys, bunnies, coloring books, little activities that anyone can do," said Kelly McWhorter. “I kind of had all these things. They’ve all been wiped down. They’re as sanitary as they can be. As a little kid, you can only stay occupied for so long, so I put my items out and I thought if it could make someone else and keep someone occupied for five minutes, do anything, I just wanted to do my part.”

If you want to donate food items to the Little Free Library, the folks in that area say just stop by and put non-perishable items in the stand. And the same goes for if you need a little help.

This particular Little Free Library is at the corner of Knight Street and Belvedere Avenue.

Holley said she hopes to continue something like this after the pandemic passes.

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