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Little Free Libraries turned into food pantries during coronavirus spread

A lending library included some additional useful items, including a roll of toilet paper and cans of beans and corn, in a Hermosa Beach neighborhood on Sunday.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Several of Glendale’s Little Free Libraries have been converted into free food pantries to help those in need during the coronavirus emergency that has left scores of residents jobless and struggling financially.

Helmed by the Glendale library department’s staff and several community groups, people are encouraged to take and leave nonperishable items in the libraries-turned-pantries scattered across the city.

Like many other public facilities across Los Angeles County, Glendale’s libraries are closed to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

“All library staff are working extremely hard to convert all of our offerings to ones which are available 24/7, online,” library Director Gary Shaffer said in a statement. “Still, we wanted to be there even more for our community.”

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Guillermo Garcia, a board member of the Glendale Latino Assn., suggested converting the libraries into pantries amid the public health crisis, Shaffer said.

The city’s flagship Little Free Food Pantry is located in front of Glendale City Hall, at 613 E. Broadway.

Other locations include Mayor’s Bicentennial Park, at 1987 Loma Vista Drive, and Montrose Park, 3529 Clifton Place.

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Those accessing the pantries should wash their hands before and after taking or leaving an item, city officials said. They also should close the door to the pantry after use.

Individuals are encouraged to practice all social distancing rules recommended by public health officials, including staying 6 feet away from one another.

Besides the Glendale Latino Assn., the Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club, Kiwanis-Glendale and Salvation Army are also participating in the effort.

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Seidman writes for Times Community News.


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