Normal Heights United Church hosts a free pantry and fridge on our property. It functions like the little free library system in which folks can take what they need and leave what they can. It's outside on our property and is accessibly 24/7. Because of this, it's difficult to keep it stocked, because the need is so great! We love fresh food, including produce, milk, eggs, and other shelf stable items. A variety of foods that don't need to be cooked (for our unhoused neighbors), and ingredients to make meals (for those neighbors who can cook, but are food and nutrition insecure) are greatly appreciated. The pantry can also take hygiene products, in particular pads, tampons, and diapers. Shelf stable items that critters could get into are recommended to be put in the fridge instead of the pantry, as it is outside and we want to eliminate the possibility of anything getting into the food.
We can work with you for regular donations and getting volunteers to do pickups if needed! The best contact is not the phone number listed but the email [email protected]
ProducePedia is a free resource that covers the types of fresh produce that can be delivered to food pantries. Each entry includes information on color, taste, and possible uses. People unfamiliar with the vegetable or fruit will learn how to use it, and those who are familiar with it still might learn a fun fact or two!
The Cooperative Extension sites have a wealth of information for any backyard gardener. Once you go to the site (each one if very different from the others) look for a link for “homes and gardens”, “landscape”, “consumer horticulture”, etc. to find information on improving your backyard garden. Neighboring state sites may offer information your own state’s site lacks.