Romano beans are replacing romance novels and spaghetti is replacing Stephen King books in the free little libraries in Regina’s Heritage neighbourhood.
The libraries, which normally house free books, have been transformed into free little pantries for people in need.
“People that have been running the pantries have been saying that they’ve been getting emptied every day,” Jamie Reynolds, program co-ordinator for the Heritage Community Association said.
Reynolds said she was inspired after hearing about a similar program in the Cathedral area.
“We know that a lot of people have been struggling to find food, struggling to eat especially with so much job loss,” Reynolds said. “We decided to go all in and do it for all of our pantries.”
Reynolds said the group stocks five pantries and community members have been dropping off items as well.
The association is paying for the food with the money that was originally meant for in-person programming that had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
“We feel that it must be making a very big difference,” Reynolds said.
“We have had some feedback from some of the residents that have been using them and they said they’re very grateful to have them.”
Reynolds is hoping to keep the pantries going for the entire pandemic — however long that lasts. She said they are relying on the community for donations, but Heritage residents are great at supporting each other.