Madison Community Church stocks a self-service pantry box named, the Blessing Box, along their street where community people can come help themselves to canned food, baby items, toiletries, and other items they may need. Since COVID-19 hit there has been a significant increase in use of this free service.
On a restocking trip to get the blessing box filled with supplies, we observed two young boys (probably between 8 and 10 years old) with their wagon getting needed food supplies from our Blessing Box after we stocked it up. On another trip to restock, we noticed a lady parked in front of it who then drove down the road and parked around the bend when she saw us coming. After restocking, we observed this same lady come back to the Blessing Box to acquire essential items she needed.
We also utilize social media to let the neighborhood know that we are thinking of their needs. A few minutes after putting up a post of our recent restocking trip on social media, we had someone express appreciation and indicated that there was someone they knew who was in need and who they would share this with.
We feel it is important to make sure there is low stigma when people utilize our Blessing Box, and to foster feelings of trust and comfort so that there is no fear in reaching out to us in times like these.
Many community members have dropped off supplies at our church to add to what we are already stocking. We have continued to stock the Blessing Box and have noticed both an increase in those utilizing the box for food supplies as well as more people contributing and adding in what they can!
Jeanette Dorh, Madison Community SDA Church Children’s Ministry Director