The Hamilton Helping Hands – Free Little Pantry is a neighbors helping neighbors, volunteer group that was started by members of the Hamilton Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and the Powell Poage Hamilton (PPH) Neighborhood Association in La Crosse, WI. It was the first Free Little Pantry in the La Crosse area and was modeled after the original “Little Free Pantry” that began in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Little Pantries are modeled after the concept of the “Free Little Library” programs and help to address food insecurity in our communities.
Up to date information and needs on Facebook: Hamilton Helping Hands – Free Little Pantry
Stewards provide small, watertight structures at designated sites and coordinate and promote stocking of the panties of various non-perishable food items, along with other personal care goods such as toiletries, diapers, socks etc. To donate, one simply opens the doors to the pantries and place the items for donation inside. It is safe and anonymous. If you prefer, financial donations can be directed to: La Crosse Neighborhoods, INC c/o PPH, PO Box 1661, La Crosse, WI 54602
The first box was placed in front of Hamilton Elementary School in August of 2017. It was followed by a box at Lincoln Middle School, supported by a partnership between the school and Washburn Neighborhood Association in October 2018. The work of these two pantries has inspired others to start their own. In April 2020, two more boxes were started, one on the Northside of La Crosse on Avon Street and one at Longfellow Middle School in La Crosse. While not currently affiliated directly with our program, we are now working with them for idea sharing and collaboration. We will also be working on expanding the program in Spring/Summer 2020.
We encourage the use of our pantries by all members of our community in their time of need.
~Take What You Need – Give What You Can~
However, our items are meant to provide a supplement in times of need, and we encourage those with greater need to reach out to larger pantries in the region to assist in what we cannot.