The Flagler County Public Library is expanding just a little bit with the opening of two “Food for Thought” kiosks on February 20 in which non-perishable canned goods can be exchanged for books, or vice-versa, at both the Haw Creek Community Center and the Hidden Trails Community Center.

“Having a ‘Little Free Library-Pantry’ in each of these two locations will help us get books out to the residents in western Flagler County,” said Chief of Special Projects and Library Director Holly Albanese. “Our programs are about encouraging people to read, and we recognize it’s not always convenient to make the trip from out west to come to the library. This program has the added benefit of helping us get food into the hands that need it.”

General Services Director Mike Dickson had a spur-of-the-moment idea for “Food for Thought” during the Northeast Florida Regional Council annual awards luncheon and a conversation that took place between County Administrator Heidi Petito, Albanese, and him.

“Clay County was doing something similar with the canned goods,” Dickson said. “I thought we could combine books and food, and the name just popped into my head.”

The kiosks will be open 24-seven and restocked monthly. Books for all ages and genres will be available.

“There is space for 100 or so books, so it’s a decent selection,” Albanese said. “It’s designed to have a natural rotation. Take a book and leave a canned good, or, take a canned good and leave a book.”

General Services staff built the two kiosks.

“This is how ideas come to life,” Petito said. “Collaboration and teamwork get things done. I’m proud of the work of all the staff.”

Haw Creek Community Center is located at 9257 County Road 304, Bunnell. Hidden Trails Community Center is located at 6108 Mahogany Boulevard, Bunnell.

Those interested in assisting can donate non-perishable food items, hygiene products, or pet products at the Information Desk of the Flagler County Public Library Palm Coast Branch, 2500 Palm Coast Parkway NW, Palm Coast.

“We ask that these donations are within the expiration date and unopened,” Albanese said. “We are very excited about getting everything up and running, and appreciate the generosity of our community, which always reaches out a helping hand.”

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