SAN ANGELO, Texas- Take what you need, leave what you can. That’s the idea behind the blessing boxes posted across the county, hoping to aide food insecurity in the Concho Valley.
“They’re kind of like the little libraries that most people are familiar with. It’s just a box that we fill with shelf-stable food and anybody that’s hungry is welcome to go to that box and get out food,” said Mary Herbert with the Baylor Collaborative for Hunger and Poverty.
New pantries have sprung up over the last year. There are now 13 boxes, 9 of them at churches and the other 4 at businesses.
“With all of the new places on board like Southland, Atmos Energy, and the YMCA to name a few, were going to be touching a lot more families,” said Becky Bookter, a Tom Green County Hunger Coalition volunteer.
The Hunger Coalition has teamed up with Glen Meadows Baptist church to host food drives every 5th Sunday of the month to keep the boxes stocked. There are only 4 times in a year when that happens and next month, October is one of them.
“We hand out a sack on the 4th Sunday. They fill them and bring them back on the 5th Sunday. We then box them up, call the blessing box locations, and they come and pick up their boxes,” said Bookter.
If you would like to help before that drive, community members are welcomed to stop by any box and give what they can.
“If anybody wants to put food in the blessing box, they can just look up and find the location. The only thing we ask is that the food not be outdated and the barcode be scratched out,” added Bookter.
This effort is critical due to studies showing one in eight Texans struggle with food insecurity.
“We just hope that people will take advantage of that, if they have a need,” said Herbert.
Blessing box locations can be found below.
- Cross Pointe Fellowship Church
- First United Methodist Church
- First Baptist Church
- First Presbyterian Church
- Emmanuel Baptist Church
- Galilee Missionary Baptist Church
- New Jerusalem Baptist Church
- Concho Valley Regional Food Bank
- Howard College/ ASU Ram Pantry
- Tony Villareal State Farm Insurance
- Atmos Energy
- Downtown YMCA
- Grace Church
- Southland Baptist Church