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Metro Detroit woman opens food and book pantry during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 11:03 AM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 21:10:40-04

GROSSE POINTE WOODS (WXYZ) — Helping neighbors in need during this public health crisis. That’s what one woman in Grosse Pointe Woods is doing by offering a free little library and mini food pantry in her front yard.

“We have to look for the helpers,” said Dianna Jakubiec.

She set up the library about a year ago outside of her home on Brys Drive near Charlevoix Avenue.

“For community awareness and (to) encourage reading,” she said.

Now, with schools out, she noticed more folks stopping by.

“(I) had a lot of people drop off books as they take books,” Jakubiec said.

The day Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered restaurants and bars to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jakubiec was out to lunch and over heard restaurant workers worried about their financial security.

“(I) hate to see anyone go hungry because they couldn’t afford to work because of a sickness they can’t control,” Jakubiec said.

That’s when she decided to add a mini pantry next to the little library. It’s small in size, but it can make a huge difference for some.

“(There's been a) good response from other neighbors wanting to come by and put things in the pantry as well,” she said.

Inside the bin sits staple items for anyone to take, no questions asked.

Jakubiec says it’s important to take care of neighbors during a time like this.

"I’m not losing any hours at work," she said. "I’m not losing any wages and I just feel very grateful and fortunate to be in that situation.”

Jakubiec is hoping others will donate food and books as well.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

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