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Do you know about the FREE Give-and-Take Bins located around Evanston?

If you or your family need food or snacks -- they're free to TAKE from the bins.

If you and your family are lucky enough to have enough food during these tough times -- you can GIVE to the bins.

The bins were the brainchild of Evanston residents Stephanie Mendoza and Michele Hays, and began at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to help families in need.

Each bin is "sponsored," or taken care of, by one or more residents who make sure they're kept full and encourage donations.

Evanston resident Alyce Barry's bins are probably the busiest, she says, because of their location at 1700 Main Street. If you'd like to donate to help Alyce shop for groceries for her bins, see the end of this post for details.

Where are the bins located?

Give-and-Take Bins and Little Free Pantries in Evanston (most are 24-hour) are located at the following addresses:

-- 712 Dobson Street -- Play Lot, Callan & Mulford -- 727 Howard (business hours only) -- 647 Judson Avenue (on porch) -- 810 Reba Place -- Grace Lutheran Evanston, South Blvd & Wesley Avenue -- 1700 Main Street -- 1627 Church Street -- School Playground, 914 Ashland -- 2008 Keeney Street (toiletries & cleaning supplies only please) -- 1232 Florence Avenue -- 1515 Greenwood Street -- 1431 Judson Avenue -- ETHS Parking Lot 3B -- 1739 Dodge Avenue -- 1655 Foster Street (Fleetwood-Jourdain Center) -- 2530 Ashland Avenue

-- Ten Thousand Villages, 915 Chicago Ave.

What will you find in the bins if you need food--and what can you donate to the bins (note the "don't" list at the end)

-- Cereal -- Oats -- Rice -- Pancake mix and syrup -- Snacks (pretzels, granola bars, nutri-grain bars, graham crackers, other crackers, pretzels, etc.) -- Dry spaghetti and sauce -- Canned meals (chili, etc.) -- Canned soups -- Peanut butter, jelly/jam and bread -- Cooking oil -- Canned tuna, ham, pulled pork -- Canned beans, dry beans, tortillas (corn or flour) -- Sugar, flour -- Canned fruit -- Dried fruit -- Spices, spice packs, bouillon -- Paper towels -- Toilet paper -- Fabuloso or Pine Sol -- Laundry detergent -- Bar soap -- Shampoo and conditioner -- Toothpaste -- Toothbrushes -- Menstrual pads and tampons -- Dish detergent -- Shaving cream -- Deodorant -- Sponges -- Empty bags, plastic & paper, please tuck these around the edges.

Please don't bring items that:

--would immediately attract animals (unwrapped meat, cheese) --would endanger children, as no one is watching the bins at all times.

To donate funds:

PayPal to (it may say Practically Shameless Press, my business name) Zelle to

Venmo Alyce Barry

You can also join Alyce's FB group, Support of Give-and-Take Bins at 1700 Main Street where she updates members on what's needed and shares beautiful observations of people filling the bins--and taking what they need from them.

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