In neighborhoods where most grocery stores have been looted and burned down by the unrest following the killing of George Floyd, makeshift outdoor food pantries are springing up in front yards and on street corners.
Bernice Arias, who works for a large health-care provider, said she and some neighbors started off giving away food from a single table on their block about a week ago. Slowly the operation has grown. On Saturday, about 10 volunteers stacked and arranged food and other supplies on a half dozen tables under the shade of tents.
“The neighborhood has really come together,” she said.
Corinna Wiese said a friend she knows from college had raised about $3,000 in donations and had parceled out the money to a team of volunteers.
Ms. Wiese, 23, who lost her job as a waitress because of coronavirus, had been driving all day to different stores in suburban Minneapolis, spending $600, filling her car, and then dropping off the bounty at different small-scale pantries. “We’re trying to spread the wealth,” she said.
Ben Miller said he had set up a small tent with an old, glass-doored cupboard about two months ago, when people first started losing their jobs to coronavirus. He initially spent his entire stimulus check to buy the first wave of supplies.
This past week, things really changed with the disturbance.
He said the neighborhood has lost a Target, a Cub Foods and two Aldi supermarkets. Mr. Miller said he used to give away about $150 a day in supplies, but now it’s around $300 a day.
Hodan Duale, a Somali-American mother of two, filled a bag with noodle soup,diapers and other goods at a makeshift stand on the side of a road set up by Trahern Pollard, a city bus driver with a nonprofit called We Push for Peace.
“I was really worried because I don’t have a car,” she said. “This is really helpful.”