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Posted on: May 20, 2020

Radnor Township Little Free Libraries Become Little Free Pantries to Assist Food Insecure Households

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Since 2017 Radnor Township has participated in a “Little Free Library” campaign with our inaugural location at Encke Park (305 Iven Ave, Wayne). The “Little Free Library” is a free public book exchange that promotes the moto “take a book, return a book” and encourages free access to books for all members of the Township. Thanks to the suggestion of Commissioner Jake Abel, and the quick work of Radnor Township Public Works Department, two additional locations were recently installed at Odorisio Park (418 Fairview Road Wayne) and Warren Filipone Park (400 S. Devon Ave. Wayne).

“I am excited to see Little Free Libraries come to our local parks and thank you to Radnor Township for making it happen. These book exchanges foster a great love of reading and strengthens the bonds of our community,” said Commissioner Jake Abel. “During the pandemic, the Little Free Libraries will also serve Little Pantries which is another way for the Township to support families in need. Going forward, I hope the Little Free Library project finds a home in all Radnor parks.” 

When the coronavirus pandemic began to impact our region, Tammy Cohen, Radnor Director of Recreation, saw new and different needs emerge in our community. Cohen wanted to make sure the libraries were not only safe but also met our changing community needs including the threat of food insecurity to Radnor neighbors.

“The libraries, which normally provide a free book exchange to Radnor residents, now distribute free pantry and household staples. We are excited to give those in need essential nourishment donated by neighbors in the same community spirit that the free book exchange promoted. The Radnor spirit of community members donating or receiving resources and supporting each other,” said Cohen.

Effective May 2020, and for the duration of the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration in Radnor Township, all Township managed Little Free Libraries will serve to support families in need by providing a discrete place where residents can freely donate and retrieve non-perishable food and household items. To ensure the success of Radnor’s Little Free Pantry campaign, we encourage all residents to participate and please note the following items can be donated/found at all 3 pantry locations:

  • Canned tuna, chicken, meats
  • Canned beans & veggies
  • Jams, jellies and nut butters
  • Pasta & sauce
  • Boxed foods (Mac & Cheese, mashed potatoes, etc.)
  • Cereals/ Oats
  • Toiletries & Household Supplies

For all users, please practice proper precautions when utilizing the pantries. Masks and gloves are recommended.

“We are happy to serve our community with ideas that meet the ever-changing needs of Radnor residents. The Township will keep our Little Free Pantries up and running and it’s heartwarming to know neighbors wanting to help other neighbors will do the rest,” said Cohen.

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