MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — There’s been a lot of tears at the wooden box in front of Sondra Weist-Johnson’s house in Middletown.
“If you look around, you can see I live in a fairly depressed community,” said Weist-Johnson.
But there’s something inside that box, dubbed the “blessing box,” that she said is saving people.
“We actually had a guy over here living on the tracks in the woods, and he told me we saved his life,” said Weist-Johnson.
There’s free food in that box for anyone who needs it.
“A lot people don’t have electric or water, so I try to put things in here they can open up and just eat,” said Weist-Johnson.
Church volunteers helped build the box, and she keeps it filled with food donations — some that come from her own house.
“I was taught, my mom says, if you have two of something, someone else has nothing. You should give one away,” said Weist-Johnson.
But there’s one problem.
“I can’t keep it full. There’s probably $200 to $300 worth of food that goes through here a day,” said Weist-Johnson.
And with no nearby grocery stores, and unemployment rising, she said the need has only grown with the pandemic. It’s the reason she said she plans to keep her “blessing box” open until there’s no longer a need.
“People, when they come here, they’re ashamed, but there’s no shame in being hungry,” said Weist-Johnson, “I wish I could do more.”
There are at least half a dozen blessing boxes around the Middletown area if you need help or would like to help.
You can also start your own blessing box, or if you’d like to reach out to help, you can get in touch with Sondra Weist-Johnson under her name on Facebook.