DaPolitos turn a Little Free Library into a food pantry
MIDDLEBURY — With their practice seeing emergency patients only, Drs. Dan and Diane DaPolito at Middlebury Eye Associates have found some time to help the community in a small way. Commerce for the office is limited to curbside pick up of glasses and contact lenses, and only two staff members and one doctor are there. The Little Free Library, a box in front of the office that is stocked with free books to take and leave, became a cause for concern.
“I emptied the books out of the Little Free Library over a week ago because I felt disinfecting them effectively was not really possible,” Diane DaPolito said. “Because I do not know who is using the library, as a health care provider, I did not want our office to be a potential site of virus spread.”
So what does one do with a Little Free Library that really shouldn’t be lending books at the moment?A colleague of DaPolito’s suggested repurposing it as other Little Free Libraries are doing. Thus the Little Free Pantry was born. “I know that local food shelves are under strain even without a global pandemic occurring. I also thought that shelf stable foods may be easier to wipe down with disinfecting wipes. There is anxiety when food shopping so this seemed like a good way for people in our community to help each other out,” DaPolito said.
She stocked the pantry on Sunday with canned goods, pasta, cereal and hand soap and by Tuesday morning, all the items were gone.
“I feel certain there is a need, and have faith in the good will of the people of this community that the food is going to homes that need it,” DaPolito said. “As with the Little Free Library idea, others in the community are welcome to put food in the pantry to donate to others.”
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