As Covid enveloped the area, a team at the Gardendale Public Library began asking what they could do to help those who were in need. Stores were closing down and food became harder to get.
Sunni Speigle, the Gardendale Library’s Assistant Director, and her team decided that as the library remained open they could help by starting a food pantry.
They started with a few cans of food on a shelf and then began asking for canned and dry goods donations on social media.
Room for storage of items is on the smaller side. There is one “large shelf and 10 small shelves and they are almost empty now”, said Mrs. Speigle.
Mrs. Speigle says that “50 to 75 people or more come in per month.” The food pantry is depleted now from a lack of donations and, depending on the number of people who come in over the weekend, there may not be enough.
This is a library project, not a City project, and driven by donations from families and businesses.
Those in need are able to come into the library and fill one large bag or two small bags of food items up to two times per month. The library now offers pre-built bags that are geared toward certain types of meals like soup or chili. These bags are already packed with everything needed for the meal.
If you would like to donate to the food pantry, please see the list below for items needed. There are some things the library can’t take, like expired items and opened items.