Church provides Blessing Box for those in need

Kahrie Stegman
Special to the Tribune

Locals and those traveling through Pratt have the opportunity to enjoy the contents of the “Blessing Box” created by the First United Methodist Church. A small box on the east side of the church on northwest intersection parking lot of First and Main streets is an anonymous point of food-sharing that has grown quite popular during the coronavirus pandemic.

The box was created by the adult group called the 50/50 Sunday School Class or GroundBreakers Sunday School Class around two years ago.

“The goal of the Blessing Box is to reach out to those in the community that, for one reason or another, are having trouble making ends meet and need food,” said Linda Broce, member of the GroundBreakers Sunday School Class.

She said the class members are really responsible for keeping it filled, but many church members help to fill it,” Broce said.

Church member Ed Boots built the box, and since its inception, it has not stayed full for long.

“It’s amazing how fast the food disappears, which shows that people must really need it,” Broce said. “The process is completely anonymous - who puts items in and who takes the items out, both of which are irrelevant.”

Being on the main intersection in Pratt, church members wanted to make a box available for anyone passing through or who may not qualify for the food bank.

Anyone is welcome to use the food in the box, and not all of the packaging requires can openers.

“We wanted it to be easily accessible,” said Pastor Marvin Ewertt.

The box is filled with items like canned foods, bags of pasta, and peanut butter. Occasionally put personal hygiene items are placed in the box as well.

“Anyone is welcome to put items in, and of course, anyone is welcome to take items out,” Broce said. “It runs on the principle like the little libraries around town. You can put something in if you want. You can take something out if you want.”

Broce said she sometimes will specifically buy some items to put in the box, and just out of curiosity, check it the next day to see if those food items are gone.

“They almost always are,” Broce said. “It’s a good feeling, for sure, to be able to help others like this. Even those not associated with church are welcome to be involved in sharing food and health items.”