An innovative, yet simple charity drive is is taking place across America. NPR reports that mini-pantries are springing up in homeowners yards, in front of business places and churches. A mini-pantry is typically a wooden box, mounted on a pole and stocked with free food and personal care items like shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and diapers. Maggie Ballard of Wichita, Kansas, calls hers a “blessing box.” People are free to take what they need, and others are free to help keep the box stocked. There is no lock on the box, so access is 24-7. Jessica McClard, of northwest Arkansas created what she calls the “little free pantry.” “The need is tremendous,” she cites, as the turnover of product in the pantry only takes 30-45 minutes. Ballard has only seen a few people come to her pantry, because most of them come in the dark of the night. There are no forms to fill out and a sense of anonymity is more desirable for some.
What do you all think of this idea? Perhaps some of you would like to place a mini-pantry in your own front yard, however, most homeowner associations wouldn’t allow it. Another idea may be to have such a mini-pantry available at our church. Please contact me if you are interested in starting such a ministry in our neighborhood. “Who is my neighbor,” an expert of the law asked Jesus. After sharing the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus ask the expert of the law, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert of the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus replied, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:29, 36-37). Our church has an opportunity, in such a small way to make a great impact on families who have needs in our community. In the coming weeks, you can also support local food pantries by bringing food donations to our church. The CCC youth group is collecting non-perishable food items for the “Souper Bowl of Caring” food drive between now and February 5th. Please place your donations in the collection bins in the church foyer or by the youth room.