'Take what you need, leave what you can.’ Neighbors set up ‘blessing boxes’ for the community
Two neighbors in Neptune City are helping to bring some relief to those who are struggling during the pandemic.
Stephen Smith and Mary Jodry have built “blessing boxes” - mini food pantries - for members of the community who may be experiencing food insecurities.
“Some ask, ‘Are you doing this for the homeless?’ I’m like, ‘No, single moms, single dads.’ It’s everyone now with COVID. Everyone’s out of work, the money is not coming in,” Smith says.
Smith says that the blessing box is simple – someone can drive up, grab what they need and be gone within a few seconds, without possibly feeling shame or embarrassment by visiting a local food pantry.
“Come use the box. It’s here. There’s no questions, no judgements. It says on the box, ‘Take what you need. Leave what you can,’” Smith says.
Jodry, a high school sophomore, heard about Smith’s blessing box and built one of her own. She filled it with PPE, toiletries and even pet food.
“It feels like a family town. Everyone knows everybody and it’s crazy to see how many people in Neptune City need help,” Jodry says.
Smith and Jodry says that their efforts would not be possible without the help of donations from others around the region.