KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – With the cost of food high, feeding the family is becoming harder than ever for some. Luckily, community members are stepping up to care for those who may be struggling.
“Blessing Boxes” are little pantries working towards solving a big problem.
A box was put up by Rachel Lawson and fellow Waverly Road Presbyterian church members about five or six years ago and ever since then the Kingsport community has kept it stocked.
“It’s not really a surprise that hunger is an issue, we know that homelessness is an issue, we know that drug use is an issue,” Lawson said. “It all goes hand in hand.”
For those dealing with food insecurity, the little pantry is an accessible and anonymous tool.
“We don’t want anybody to ever feel ashamed,” Lawson said. “We know it’s hard to ask for help, everybody thinks it’s hard to ask for help.”
The boxes have been popping up all around the community, especially outside of schools, like Hunter Elementary in Carter County.
School counselor Blair Adams said she hears often from those in need.
“Especially over the summer, they’re not getting school lunches and school breakfasts, so we’re even seeing a lot of Facebook posts recently about some of our parents needing help,” Adams said. “This is a great resource for them.”
The pantries need juice boxes and foods that require little preparation.
“You don’t even think about, some of these kids don’t even have a can opener,” Adams said. “So anything that they can get their hands on and eat without having somebody to prepare it for them is amazing.”
Adams and others are hoping the community continues to step up and provide like they have.
“It really is a blessing all the way around to everybody involved,” Lawson said.