A Pantry for All Souls

A Pantry for All SoulsAll Souls is home to A Pantry for All Souls, a Little Free Pantry where neighbors can pick up grocery goods donated by other neighbors. The pantry is stocked by all of us, for all of us.

We need volunteers to help keep the pantry in good working condition—sign up here if you can help. No donation is necessary to volunteer.

If you need anything in the pantry, go ahead and take it!

If you’d like to donate to the pantry, you can put donations directly into the pantry at any time. If you can’t make it to the pantry in person, you can order from our Amazon Wishlist—select “Little Free Pantry” as your shipping address and it will be sent to our volunteer who stores extra supplies.

For updates and announcements, follow us on Facebook.

And for any questions not answered below, you can contact the Pantry Team at apantryforallsouls@gmail.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Little Free Pantry?

Originally started at a church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the Little Free Pantry movement seeks to provide free food and grocery goods through spontaneous, anonymous donations from community members. A Little Free Pantry is a free-standing structure that contains grocery goods donated by anyone who places goods into the pantry. Those who need food assistance can access the pantry at any time by taking what they need. Unlike many traditional food pantries, a Little Free Pantry does not require an application, proof of income, or proof of need.

Where is the pantry?

A Pantry for All Souls is located on the 15th Street side of the church building. It is a set of cabinets on the concrete stairs.

Why a pantry here?

Though our immediate neighborhood has gentrified over the last decade, it is still home to many people experiencing food insecurity especially during the Covid pandemic. From kids who need meals when schools are closed, to families hit by changes in federal food support policies, many of our neighbors need help from time to time making ends meet. The need has only grown as unemployment and food supply disruptions make it harder than ever for many people to access food and grocery supplies.

Where do the groceries come from?

You, if you have some to donate! Or, well, anyone. The pantry is stocked by neighbors who want to share food with neighbors who need it.

Who uses the groceries in the pantry?

You, if you need it! Or, again, anyone. There is no eligibility or qualifications to take something out of the pantry. If you need something that’s in the pantry, take it.

How do I donate groceries?

Put it in the pantry! You can add donations at any time.

What should I put in the pantry?

Non-perishable grocery goods, like canned goods, tuna, crackers, cookies, soups, beans, grains, pasta, energy drinks, cereal, energy bars, apple sauce, etc. Produce can be donated as long as it can be outdoors in the current temperature for several hours and is not easily bruised. Apples and potatoes, yes; lettuce or berries, probably not.

What else?

You can also supply the pantry with things like soap, shampoo, deodorant, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent, socks and underwear still in their packaging, diaper wipes, baby formula, menstrual hygiene products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, gift cards to grocery stores, and school supplies.

What shouldn’t go in the pantry?

Please don’t put any glass containers, razors, needles, aerosol cans, or harsh chemicals in the pantry because they pose a safety hazard. Also, any food requiring refrigeration or freezing is not appropriate for the pantry.

But this can’t feed everyone who needs it.

While A Pantry for All Souls does not address systemic and societal causes of poverty and food insecurity, it does feed people, one person at a time. The pantry is a supplement to, not a replacement for, political action to change the economic and political structures of our nation. We support that, too.

What if someone takes something they don’t need?

We believe in radical hospitality and are grateful for the opportunity to give food to anyone who will accept it. None of us knows what someone else “needs”; we can only be grateful that we are able to give.

There’s a pandemic going on. Isn’t this a public health hazard?

Everyone should protect their own health. If you don’t feel comfortable interacting with the pantry right now, you should not do so.

We believe that the pantry is safer than a trip to the grocery store, for both people putting supplies in and taking them out. Only one person uses the pantry at a time, the pantry is outside, and there is no check-out or bagging process, so the potential chain of transmission is lessened. However, it is certainly not entirely risk-free.

Some recommended best practices, to keep our whole community safe: If you have gloves or a face mask, we recommend wearing them while putting supplies in or taking supplies out of the pantry. And, if you have cleaning wipes, you can use them to wipe goods and the pantry drawers.

If you are sick, have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, or have any symptoms of illness, please do not visit the pantry until you are symptom-free or have completed your 14-day quarantine. At all times, follow DC Department of Health guidelines.

What if I have more questions?

You can contact the Pantry Team at apantryforallsouls@gmail.com.