The Delhi Public Library is getting a new read on its patrons as it opened up a fresh way to serve them – a free hygiene ‘pantry’.
The shelving unit, stocked and open to the public since early June, is called a Free Little Pantry. The concept is modelled after the popular Free Little Libraries, scattered around communities on private property, that offer tiny places where readers can find or donate a book.
“We got the idea from the Simcoe Library, which opened a free pantry in April,” says Ron Klein of the Delhi Friends of the Library group.
“It was successful and heavily accessed by people in the community.”
The Delhi Sharing Pantry Food Bank is partnering with the Friends group to help stock the pantry and deal with donations.
Accessing the pantry is anonymous and open to all those in need.
The organizers don’t want food donations for the project – those should continue to go to the food bank.
Instead, they seek hygiene items that are often not available at the food bank such as deodorant, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, toilet paper and paper towels.
“The library is a public place where many people come so it’s very convenient,” said Klein.
“It’s been running for about a month now and, when we replenish things, we can tell it’s being well used.”
Library patrons are asked not to place donations on the shelves but to drop them at the library’s front desk.