Your neighborhood might benefit from a Community Cupboard. Interested in sponsoring one? Here are some resources to help you get started, from building and installing the cupboard to easily managing it.
Check local zoning and/or HOA rules
We recommend you check to see if installing one is allowed in your area before you commit to the project.
Design and construction resources
Okay it’s built, now what?
Stock the cupboard. When we started ours, we funded the first 2 or 3 weeks of items, then the neighbors slowly started adding items to the cupboard (now the donations come in regularly). Take a look at our flyer (link below) for ideas on items to start with.
Get the word out
Make your box noticeable and clearly state its purpose. We put an information flyer inside the cupboard (feel free to modify our sample and make your own). This was all we needed to do to start drawing attention to the cupboard. We live on a busy street so a lot of people see it everyday, including a local news reporter who stopped by recently to do a brief story on it.
If you don’t live on a busy street, you may need to do more to get the word out. Consider hanging flyers in neighborhood businesses. Notify the local news, neighborhood associations, and your local schools (child hunger is unfortunately so prevalent).
Monitor the cupboard
How often you’ll do this will depend on the level of use. We monitor ours a couple of times a day when we’re in town. We will ask neighbors to step in for us when we leave town. Monitoring for us includes removing items when the box gets too full (we have a closet shelf reserved for surplus) and adding items as needed. Occasionally, you may want to organize items, although we’ve found both donors and recipients do a good job of that. It seems the whole neighborhood takes pride in the project.