The Little Free Pantry initiative began in 2017 as a community service project in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Located inside the Kentwood Activities Center, the small pantry was designed to fill an immediate and local need with nonperishable food and personal care items. Since opening, it has remained available to all community members year-round.
Over the years, demand for the pantry has steadily increased. To help meet the growing need, we opened a second pantry location in 2021 at the Kent District Library – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch. We regularly host food drives to keep the pantry well-stocked and invite local organizations to do the same so we can provide a more sustainable resource for our community.
How does it work?
The premise of the Little Free Pantry is similar to that of the Little Free Library movement: Take an item (or items) when needed and leave an item when you can. Anyone can:
- Give: Canned goods, non-perishable food, personal care items, etc.
- Take: Any items you need – no application needed, no questions asked
- Kentwood Activities Center, 355 48th St. SE, during normal business hours
- Kent District Library - Richard L. Root/Kentwood Branch, 4950 Breton Ave. SE, during library hours
- Kentwood City Hall, 4900 Breton SE
- Kentwood Public Works, 5068 Breton SE
- Kentwood Justice Center, 4740 Walma SE
- Sparks Belting Company, 5005 Kraft Ave, Suite A
Thank you for giving back to our community by supporting Kentwood’s Little Free Pantry! Donations from community members like you have helped countless families and individuals in need of food and other essentials.
Suggested food* donations include:
- Meats, canned, tuna and chicken preferred
- Vegetables, canned
- Fruits, canned
- Shelf stable milk
- Non-stick spray
- Peanut butter
- Pasta sauce
- Cooking oil
* Please be sure to check the expiration date on food items before bringing them in for donation.For personal care items, we suggest:
- Soap of all kinds
- Disposable razors
- Feminine products
- Laundry detergent
- Toilet paper
- Kid-friendly non-perishables
- Crayons, small toys, games
- School supplies
Host A Food Drive
Is your organization looking for ways to get involved in the Kentwood community? We invite you to partner in our efforts to better stock the pantry by hosting a food drive for canned goods and other non-perishable items at your organization. We can provide a list of suggested donations and more details on drop-off hours/locations. If you have any questions, feel free reach out to us at 616.656.5270 or eRecreation@kentwood.us.
Businesses and organizations may request to have a collection bin placed at their facility. Click the button below to submit a request.