BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you drive behind Bluff Park Elementary school you will find a little pantry tucked near some trees. It’s full of hearty meals like pasta and sauce, soups, ramen, macaroni and cheese and more. On it a sign reads “Take what you need, give what you can.”
“It’s a quiet area and no one is going to notice, it’s not on a busy street and I just hope parents and community members will take advantage of it,” says Geri Evans. She’s the reason the pantry is there. “I wanted to bring it here because there is a need. There are food insecurities right now and I see it everyday.”
Evans is the STEAM teacher at Bluff Park Elementary School and says she saw little pantries like this in her home state of Minnesota. When her church launched a challenge for members to give back to the community, she jumped at the chance to bring a Little Free Pantry to Bluff Park. School leadership approved and the pantry was installed.
Ms. Evans says she knows how hard it can be to put food on the table, and the pandemic has only increased food insecurities.
“So many people have lost their jobs. I was a single parent at one time and I know getting to the end of the month it can get tight,” she says.
She hopes the pantry offers comfort to those in need, and encourages children to learn the understanding of giving back. The school is set to hold a food drive later this month to help keep the pantry stocked.
“Take what you need and give what you can. That’s what I want it to be, that it continues to fill up but also empty out,” says Evans.
There are Little Free Pantries across the country, though is the only official one in Hoover.