Dayton Metro Library partners with Foodbank to open food pantries in 10 branches
Next month, 10 Dayton Metro Library branches will be stocked with canned and non-perishable food boxes.
That’s after several months of planning alongside the Dayton Foodbank, which has several pantry agencies across Montgomery, Preble and Clark counties.
This isn’t the first time the library has been a food distribution site. Some months before the pandemic, it had partnered with the Children’s Hunger Alliance so that any child under the age of 18 could pick up a non-perishable food bag from any branch library.
However, due to changes in federal food distribution regulations, the library was unable to continue the program.
Allison Knight, the youth and programming director for Dayton Metro Library, said the partnership comes at a time when the toll of inflation is hurting many communities.
“It's really intended to kind of get people over the hump or through this like period, where we can refer them to a more robust pantry,” she said. “Or maybe it gets them to the next paycheck or it gets them to when their benefits renew at the beginning of the month.”
Knight added the pantry partnership falls in line with the library being more than just a place to get books and information.
“We understand that it's really difficult to focus on things like learning or leisure reading or attending a program if your basic needs aren't met,” Knight said. “And so trying to show them that we, as the library, want to make sure they're succeeding in all areas of their life.”
Lauren Wolford Tappel, the development and marketing manager at the food bank, said its part the Foodbank’s approach to make food more accessible, such as the FoodRx program with Dayton Children’s Hospital andEdison Elementary’s school pantry that was launched earlier this year with the YMCA
“With each partnership, we make it easier for food insecure Daytonians to access the resources and support they need,” Wolford Tappel said. “We are grateful to the Dayton Metro Library for opening pantries at these branches as they will likely reach neighbors in need of emergency food assistance who may have otherwise gone without.”
The pantries will open to the community on October 17. Meanwhile, the Dayton Library will be running a food drive beginning Monday, October 3 to stock its pantries.
A schedule of pantry times and locations are online at the Dayton Metro Library website.
Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Support for WYSO's reporting on food and food insecurity in the Miami Valley comes from the CareSource Foundation.