I started an outdoor food bank 2 years ago and it's still going.
Outdoor Food Pantry
Mutual Aid Project in Berkeley, California
by Veronica van Gogh
Design & Maintenance of Outdoor Food Pantry that is open 24 hrs a day
An ongoing Experiment that proves the Sharing Economy actually does work!
Keywords: Gift Economics, Food Rescue, Addressing Food Insecurity in a very local way
I have been running this project independently for over two years - Since October 2020
Lots of photos at eastbayangels.org
When you hire Veronica Van Gogh Design to update your site or refresh your logo, a portion of the funds will be allocated to buying food that is put in the pantry for someone to find, and take home. I use a portion of my income to run the project and I do go out and buy food for it when we do not have any food donations. I also pay for the printing costs for the signage, and all the materials I need to continue to make the exterior and interior look beautiful.
Take what you need, Share what you can.
It's like a Little Free Library, except it's food not books. Though we do leave books in there too!
Neighbors drop food off while they are passing by, perhaps walking their dog, or on a run. Nannies stop by for fresh bread on Wednesdays. We are testing the honor system, and whether a project like this can be self regulated and self-sustaining. To some degree, it can. You always need to have at least one person cleaning it, and removing wrappers and food that no one wants. It requires love and attention.
In two years, I have sourced $50,000 of fresh food, coffee, water, socks and more that would have been thrown away by local businesses. This project helps people who are experiencing food insecurity in my immediate neighborhood.
Based on the speed at which food goes home with someone once it's in the pantry, this project is very needed. I invite neighbors to donate food, and they do. Bringing something to donate is not required, and as a result - it is up to a handful of people to keep it stocked.
Please know you are directly supporting others when you hire my design services. There is a direct ripple effect. Most of the people who use the food pantry are housed. Food is very expensive everywhere. And even if you are earning a living wage, a free pound of coffee or some free coconut oil that is brand new is a boon.
We have been working with ACME bakery for two years. We love preventing food waste, and we also love it when we can help our neighbors who are struggling with food insecurity. Fresh bread is so good!!