Batavia church helps neighbors through blessing box

Batavia church helps neighbors through "blessing box"

BATAVIA, N.Y. - At a quick glance, the box outside the St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Batavia almost looks like a bird house. But as you come around the other side of it, you see that it is not a place for birds to find comfort but for people. 

"This is our Blessing Box," Pastor Allen Werk said. "It's a little, free food pantry."

Inside the box you'll find non-perishable food and basic supplies like canned vegetables, mac and cheese, toothpaste or bandages. 

"The idea is to provide some extra resources for families in the neighborhood," Werk said. 

They aren't looking to give out full meals from the box. They have a food pantry inside their church for that. 

The Blessing Box is more for providing a quick stop to fill in the gaps of a meal or provide a quick snack. 

"We've got a lot of children who go through the neighborhood or through our property," Werk said. "Going to school and they can pick up snacks on the way to school or on the way home."

It's similar to the idea of the little free libraries around WNY communities but the idea was actually born from a pilot project at another Lutheran church in Arkansas. 

Members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church saw it and decided to build their own. 

They put it up at the end of May. 

The pastor said it has been well received so far and they are keeping it restocked themselves. 

They are hoping it eventually becomes a two-way community effort. 

"Not only can you come and pick something up if you need something extra but if you've got extra, you can bring it here, drop it off, leave it for you neighbors to use," Werk explained. 

When school begins this fall, the church said they may stock the Blessing Box with school supplies for students. 

The church is located on 31 Washington Street in Batavia. 

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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