A charity movement is taking hold in neighborhoods across the country. Think of those “little free library” boxes, but with a twist! Instead of books, these petite pantries are stocked with free food and personal care items, like toothbrushes and diapers. Now it’s time for Tallahassee to join this grassroots initiative alongside two dozen other cities.
In August 2017, Leadership Tallahassee Class 34 launched the Help Shelf Tallahassee project. These small, engaging acts of service provide food and household supplies to anyone in need - a family trying to make ends meet over the weekend, a homeless veteran in need of a bar of soap so he can get in a quick shower before tomorrow’s job interview, a college student putting herself through school who’s too ashamed to ask for help - ANYONE.
Needs to be Addressed
The Big Bend has the highest level of food insecurity in Florida, at 18.9%, or 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children. Almost 100,000 of our neighbors, including families, children and seniors, experience hunger on a regular basis. More information on food insecurity in our area can be found here .
The average citizen is interested in community service but unsure of where to start or just how much his/her actions will make a direct impact. Our Help Shelf boxes fulfill that interest to serve - whether filling a belly or feeding a soul.
Over the summer of 2017, LT34 built, stocked, and placed four Help Shelf boxes and added a new round of boxes in summer 2018. Our goal is to have a Help Shelf presence in every quadrant of the Tallahassee area. The first fleet of boxes were built by LT34 volunteers using extremely high quality materials to guarantee durability. Each of these heavy duty boxes costs approximately $400, and collected funds will be used to both build boxes and keep boxes stocked as long as funds are available.
How You Can Help
We need your donations! Give to this GoFundMe campaign, or drop non-perishable food and toiletries directly at each box location. A list of suggested items can be found here: https://goo.gl/2JrSpL, and address information for our boxes can be found via The Little Free Pantry map: http://mapping.littlefreepantry.org/.
Want to build and launch your own box? Interested in hosting a stocking drive? Please email us at [email redacted].
Help Shelf TLH is the class project of Leadership Tallahassee Class 34. Help another. Help Yourself.
- Susan & Chuck Vodicka
- Brittany Long
- Mike Goldstein
- Rachel Malet
- Richard Doran
Organizer and beneficiary
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