Members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Batavia are putting their faith into action through a “Blessing Box,” outside the church.
The box is a small pantry for people to come and take what they need, and leave something behind, if they can.
The idea came from one of the church members who saw The Little Free Pantry Pilot Project on Facebook. The project began in May 2016 and is about neighbors helping neighbors.
St. Paul's Lutheran Pastor Allen Werk said it is not like a food pantry, with many varieties to choose from.
“If they need a few things, they can stop and pick it up,” Werk said. “If they have something extra they can drop it off and leave it for somebody else.”
Werk said it is just a small box to help others through a meal or through a day, and there are no plans to expand the box.
When school starts up in the fall, they will fill the blessings box with school supplies, Werk said.
“We envision pens, pencils, notebooks and snacks that kids can pick up on their way to school or their way home,” Werk said. “This box can have anything. It can be food items, school items, Kleenex, toilet paper or even sunscreen.”
Werk said they plan on checking the box every day to see what is coming and going, and to make sure that things aren’t expired or broken.
“Our thoughts were that during the school year, our fourth- and fifth-graders would come out and check it every day,” Werk said.
The congregation has been gathering food for a while, so Werk is prepared to restock the box if it gets empty.
"We just wanted to provide some extra help and care," Werk said. "We wanted to show our love for neighbors here in the neighborhood and share with them Jesus's love and let them know that He's thinking about them and wants to see them through each day."
The church is located at 31 Washington Ave. in Batavia.