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Little, free pantries pop up in Cleveland filled with food and toiletries

Posted at 6:23 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 18:23:26-04

Little boxes filled with little things free for the taking. Give Box CLE’s concept isn’t new, but it is new to the city of Cleveland.

The first “little free pantry” went up in the Collinwood neighborhood on Lakeshore Boulevard near E. 165th Street just five days ago.

Already, Give Box CLE founder Allison Lukacsy-Love said she has seen people use it often.

“The concept is really all about neighbors helping neighbors,” Lukacsy-Love said.

It’s a give-and-take relationship — people are meant to place items and take items whenever they need, similar to the “Little Free Library” idea.

The box is filled with things like canned foods, bars of soap and tampons.

Everything is free to take 24-hours a day.

Along with the food and toiletries, Lukacsy-Love added her own personal touch inside — little notes of positivity.

“Because you might not need a can of black beans, you might not need a packet of tissues, but everyone could use a little bit of inspiration,” she said.

The boxes were built, hand-painted, and installed by teenagers who are part of the “Kids of 216” program, a vocational summer school for inner-city high schoolers in Cleveland.

So far, there are five boxes that will be placed around Cleveland, but the hope is that the idea will continue to grow, Lukacsy-Love said.