- Associated Press - Sunday, April 30, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An Omaha couple has started the city of Omaha’s first “little free pantry” initiative.

The pantry is similar to a little free library, but instead of a box filled with reading material, it’s a box filled with pantry items.

Steve and Vicki Holcomb brought the idea to the metro area and founded Little Free Pantry of Omaha. The couple has already built one panty in front of a resident’s house, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2qdU3kB ) reported.

The pantry in front of Anna Lemieux’s house allows people to exchange food such as jars of peanut butter, cans of tuna, boxes of cereal and canned vegetables.

Vicki Holcomb first heard of the pantries when they grew popular in Arkansas about a year ago. Several communities have created similar programs since then.

“This idea certainly isn’t about replacing any sort of food programs in the city,” Steve said. “But this is a way to eliminate any limitations someone might have to getting those.” He added that some food pantries have limited hours or sometimes require clients to bring photo identification.

The couple said they’ve received lots of support from the people of Omaha. Currently there are three pantries assembled in their garage, and more than 10 people have already requested one.

“We’ve really just watched this idea snowball over the last few months,” Steve said.

The Holcombs are meeting with the city and with neighborhood associations and churches to find locations that have the greatest need.

“The support has been overwhelming,” Vicki said. “But I’m not shocked. People in Omaha are very giving.”


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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