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Eddy Steele set up a tiny food pantry in the Marmalade District of Salt Lake City for people to take what they need - and give if they can.
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‘Little Food Pantry’ Pops Up In Salt Lake City Neighborhood

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Salt Lake City man has managed to find a way to help others while maintaining social distancing.

At 353 Reed Avenue in the Marmalade District, a new shop has popped up.

“I started last Tuesday and finished it up last Wednesday,” said Eddy Steele.

It’s not a big box store. It’s actually more like a box.

Eddy Steele set up a tiny food pantry in the Marmalade District of Salt Lake City for people to take what they need - and give if they can.

Eddy Steele set up a tiny food pantry in the Marmalade District of Salt Lake City for people to take what they need – and give if they can.

“I was kind of hoping the next morning I would come and find it empty,” said Steele.

Eddy Steele calls it a “little food pantry.” He got the idea from little libraries in the neighborhood.

“The next day, I noticed that there were a bunch of things in it that I hadn’t added,” Steele said. “Soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and even a roll of toilet paper.”

That toilet paper is already gone, and Steele said he’s glad neighbors and anyone else who needs help are taking what they need.

“I try to have everything easily openable that they could just eat right away and you don’t have to take home and cook and everything,” he said.

In the little pantry, Steele even placed a notepad for requests and notes.

“I just thought it would be interesting to hear people’s stories or if anyone needed anything,” he said.

Steele’s a nurse at the VA Hospital, and he knows firsthand the importance of social distancing.

“We are seeing what’s happening at other hospitals and trying to figure out the best to prepare to handle it if we get overloaded here, or when we get overloaded here,” he said.

It’s his way of giving others a helping hand — from a distance.

“I think everybody wants to reach out and help the way they can,” Steele said. “It’s hard to just stay at home and realize that staying at home is the best way to help people right now.”

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