So for those of you that live in San Diego, one of our local Methodist Churches (The one in Santee-8964 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA 92071) has a Blessing Box where neighbors can put food, toiletries, diapers, formula, etc. to share with neighbors who are in need but can’t make it to the local food bank for whatever reason. It was started last year. You can read more about it here and see some pictures.
I try to stop by every few weeks and put some stuff from our pantry in it. I pick up a few extra items at the grocery store (or 99 Cents Only or Grocery Outlet) when I shop each week. Instant oatmeal, canned soup, tuna, or beans with a pop-top (in case someone doesn’t have access to a can opener).
When I walked to the blessing box this AM there were 4 packets of oatmeal, some citrus fruit, and a fleece blanket (in the grocery bag).
I quickly scoured my car for everything I had. I didn’t have a lot extra in my trunk, but I emptied it of all of the food I had- I even went through the kid’s Snack bag that is for “emergency car snacks”.
Here is what it looked like after I put in my donation. I picked up a package of wipes from Huggies at a bloggers summit a few weeks back. I hadn’t yet opened it, so I added it to the Blessing Box. I know that this box gets utilized by a lot of locals with great frequency. I will be back to add more groceries tonight.
Some of you may have Little Free Pantries or Free Food Boxes in your area too. If not, it’s easy to start one! Many local schools also have a food pantry for kids whose families face food insecurity. Santana High School has one!
My call to action for you is this:
- Look into your pantry and pick out 5 things you can live without. They must be in date and something someone actually wants to eat (I’m looking at you, jar of cocktail onions).
- Find someone in need. Add it to your local Little Free Pantry, post it on a neighborhood forum, a local parents group, or donate it to your local school food pantry.
- Give freely and with love.
I know that most of us have grocery budgets. Imagine if we all cut $5 out of our budget and bought 5 (or more) items to share with a neighbor in need- That would go really far to help hungry families!
If you aren’t sure what to donate, here are a few suggestions:
- Canned Meats
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Fruits
- Canned Soup
- Peanut Butter
- Cereal & Oatmeal
- Rice & Pasta
- Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
- Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)
- Toiletries and hygiene items
I can’t wait to hear about how you’ve helping a neighbor!