Heroic leaders, bighearted residents offer hope

Little Free Libraries in the Bay Area, once a charming home for dog-eared Tom Clancy novels or an extra copy of “Goodnight Moon,” are turning into coronavirus supply stations — filling with food, soap and rolls of that most sought-after item: toilet paper.

The local libraries reflect a national trend, according to officials from the nonprofit that started the program, who noticed a shift beginning more than a week ago. Along with staples aimed toward survival, items for self-medicating have shown up as well, including Girl Scout cookies and at least one small bottle of Jack Daniel’s bourbon.

Linda Cazares of Alameda converted her free library to a pantry San Francisco News a few days ago, after remembering a coffee shop in San Diego, near a large homeless population, which had two library boxes — one for books and one for food.
Robin Carr had a dinner reservation last Sunday night at Original Joe’s, a favourite spot near her North Beach home. But the restaurant called her midafternoon to tell her dinner was cancelled.

The beloved restaurant, like pretty much all of San Francisco, was about Press Release Distribution Services  In San Francisco to shut down. The 80-year-old classic, known for its heaping portions of Italian food and its whos-who clientele, had reopened after a 2007 fire destroyed its previous location, but it couldn’t withstand the coronavirus.

Carr rushed over for one last glass of Chardonnay. Soon, the bartender rang the gold bell, signalling last call — not just for the night, but indefinitely.

“They looked at us and said, ‘Do you want one more?’ It’s on the house,” recalled Carr, a public relations executive. Of course, she accepted.

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