The Bird Box Project

The Bird Boxes project believes that access to food and art go hand in hand.  We’re trying to remove the stigma of using curbside food pantries by turning them into art installations and stocking them with free art and art supplies as well as food. 

These curbside food boxes aren’t strictly utilitarian. Each one is lovingly made to look like another house on the block – with some notable differences. You’ll see a raven occupies the top floor. A solar light has been modified to backlight the “attic” and provide some light after dark so people looking for food in the evening can see what the box offers. Future mods include a small refrigerated cooler attachment. Each box is made from (mostly) reused, salvaged or “found” materials.

Our pilot project has been very successful and can be duplicated with relatively low effort. Offering free food and art in mid- to high-needs areas of the city helps bridge the distribution gap with some low income residents in multiple ways: (1) looking for food in old, run down food stands doesn’t necessarily offer dignity, while taking free food from an artfully-designed box similar to a Little Free Library that you might find in the suburbs breaks from stigma; and (2) offering free art along with food puts art in the hands of those who may otherwise not have access to it.