Little Food Library

"Take what you need. Give what you can."

photo of two cabinets where food items are available

Our Little Food Library is based on the Little Free Library and Little Free Pantry concepts which provide the opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors. According to the Feeding America’s Map Meal Gap Study, one in seven people in Cook County will experience food insecurity this year, which is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of food. Food insecurity can affect anyone in our Columbia community. For more information about how students have been affected during the pandemic, see #RealCollege 2021: Basic Needs Insecurity During the Ongoing Pandemic

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Who is the Little Food Library for?

It’s for anyone at Columbia who needs help with food. We do not monitor who takes from or who gives to the Food Library. If you have something to give, please do. If you need something, please take it.

Where is the Little Food Library located and when is it open?

The Little Food Library is located in two cabinets on the second floor of the library directly across from the elevators. The cabinets are accessible during regular library hours.

What is in the Little Food Library?

It is stocked with non-perishable and single-serve food items such as energy and protein bars, applesauce, pretzels, and nuts, fruit juices, etc. While the Little Food Library does not supply whole meals, our staff can provide information on helpful onsite pantry resources such as ColumbiaCares.

What can be donated?

If you wish to donate food to the Little Food Library, please see the suggested donation list. Monetary donations are accepted through the Library's Fundraising Page with Development and Alumni Relations. 

How does the Little Food Library differ from other food pantries?

The Little Food Library is small, so it cannot be relied on to help with pervasive need. The Little Food Library does not require applications or proof of financial need. It is available to all Columbia students, staff, and faculty anytime the library is open.


If you have a question about the Little Food Library, please call us at 312-369-7900 or email us.

Additional Resources

Information about community services and other resources to assist with food insecurity can be found on our Little Food Library resource guide. Read more about Columbia's campus initiatives that support students through raising funds or in-kind resources at It Takes a Village.