FRESNO, Calif. – Those who struggle to put enough food on the table have a new place to turn thanks to a group of local beekeepers. In October, three Sioux Honey Association Co-op members took time away from their hives to install central California’s first documented Little Free Pantries.
The co-op installed the first Little Free Pantry in Los Banos earlier this month. Beekeepers unveiled additional pantries in Fresno and Modesto today.
Little Free Pantries take a crowd sourced approach to meet immediate local needs by encouraging people to “take what you need and leave what you can.” The pantries are meant to be an anonymous, 24/7 option for communities. They are a spin-off of Little Free Libraries and began in 2016 with Jessica McClard, a mother in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Today hundreds exist across the country.
“The Central Valley feeds the world. No one here should go to bed hungry,” said Matt Beekman, the Sioux Honey beekeeper who installed a Little Free Pantry in Modesto.
Installation of the pantries marks the launch of what Beekman’s co-op is calling “Beekstock.” Through December, Sioux Honey is partnering with Little Free Pantry to add the first pantries in central California and keep them stocked with healthy foods.