Several years ago, Sedro-Woolley resident Jeannie Cornett installed a small “free library” near her home — shelves from which neighbors, especially children, could borrow books. She stocked it with books from her home.

“Schoolkids come by when school’s in,” she said. “They walk home this way and I get to talk to lots of neighbors. I get to meet people I haven’t met before.”

Now Cornett has expanded the offering to include food for those who need it, and hopes others will join in the effort. She set up a table and stocked it mostly with nonperishable food from her pantry, plus chives from her garden.

“I put a lot of tea out,” she said. “That goes really fast.”

People have come by to take food, she said. Others have come to contribute.

“A couple of nice men came by and brought flavored sparkling water,” she said. “There are pastas, rice, beans, canned foods, cookies, whatever.”

Cornett said the inspiration to start the food table came recently, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and a rummage through her pantry.

“I was doing things in the house, cleaning out my pantry,” she said. “I thought I should put some food out for people. I put out a sign. People started coming. Some people have dropped food off.”

Cornett hopes more people continue to do so, as the food available in her pantry to donate has dwindled.

Those interested in picking up or donating food can find the food table — as well as the free library — at the intersection of Talcott and Township streets in Sedro-Woolley.

Cornett is happy she was able to set up the food table.

“I thought it was something I could do right now,” she said.

Reporter Trevor Pyle: 360-416-2156,, Twitter: @Sports_SVH,

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