Coronavirus News: New Jersey middle school converts 'Little Free Libraries' into 'Little Free Pantries'

LINDEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- A middle school in New Jersey has converted its "Little Free Libraries" into "Little Free Pantries" to help those who cannot get food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Soehl Middle School in Linden, New Jersey, had two community "Little Free Libraries" that have stood on the school grounds for about a year.

Students and community members were encouraged to share books through public boxes.

Now, instead of books, the boxes will contain non-perishable food items for those who need it most.

"These are such uncertain times right now, and I wanted to find a way that our school can help," said Soehl Principal Isabella Scocozza. "It is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase food, and many residents are uncomfortable frequenting stores during this time. 'The Little Free Pantries' is a great way to provide non-perishable food and goods to our Linden community."

Scocozza said that Soehl teachers have been eager to help keep the pantries stocked, but everyone is invited to help out.

"Residents are encouraged to take what they need or to give what they have to our 'Little Free Pantries' at Soehl Middle School," she said. "'The Little Free Libraries' have been and will continue to be such a wonderful addition to our school and community."

In addition to the pantries, Linden Public Schools continue to distribute grab-and-go lunches every weekday to any student in the district who needs one.

These lunches are available for pick-up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Linden High School's Ainsworth Street entrance, School No. 5's rear entrance, and School No. 2's main entrance on 17th Street.

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