by Lisa Tome
Inside the Perryville Police Department Outreach Program there are nightly dinners for youth that may not get a healthy meal at home.
Outside, there's an opportunity for the same. Right before Christmas the Outreach set out a Little Free Library.
But instead of containing books, there's food, hygiene items, and baby needs inside.
The idea came from case worker Danielle Hemling who heard that the concept of Little Free Libraries had expanded to include food and other items. They bought the wooden building intended for a Little Free Library and instead have set up a Little Free Pantry. The purpose of the pantry is so that the Outreach members can do community service. The small wooden building was painted by the Outreach members.
They started the program just as Otsego Street was closed for work on drainage as a trial run. Hemling explained that things really got going in mid January.
Items that go fast are peanut butter, pasta, noodles, boxed macaroni and cheese, diapers and paper wipes.
"You put in what you want and take what you need," explained Hemling.
So if you buy something your family isn't crazy about or if you coupon and have extras. it's a way to share.
"People are taking from it," said Hemling.
If you have an abundance, you can drop your items at the Outreach and the youths will stock it as needed. They are open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
"The kids brought in food for it. They take pride in it," said Hemling.