Hoboken Presbyterian's Blessing Box being used more than ever - FoxChapel

Hoboken Presbyterian’s Blessing Box being used more than ever

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 | 9:35 AM

The grab-and-go food box outside Hoboken Presbyterian Church in Blawnox is proving invaluable during the coronavirus pandemic, according to church leaders.

The Rev. Lee Nichols, pastor at the 141-year-old church, said the Blessing Box that was installed last year is helping more than originally hoped.

The structure, about 4-by 2-feet, is filled with cans of soup, snack bars and toiletries. It stands on the church lawn at 921 North Ave., about a block back from Freeport Road.

“It is being used more than before, substantially,” Nichols said.

But, he said that people are also donating more.

“Both the people within the church and neighbors and friends,” Nichols said. “We’re grateful.”

Anyone who needs a box of cereal or jar of pasta sauce can take it, without cost or judgment.

Similar to Free Little Libraries that sprouted up in recent years, the Blessing Box is a take-what-you-need, give-if-you-can project.

Rotating supplies like crackers and peanut butter have been replenished by people looking for ways to help during the ongoing health crisis.

“Many in our community now face economic hardship and we hope to be of assistance as best we can in this small way,” Nichols said.

Donations can be left by the red door at the church.

With a congregation of about 50, many elderly, Nichols said it doesn’t make sense to stream Sunday services during Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order. Instead, members are staying in touch through regular phone calls and emails. Nichols also posts short messages on the church’s Facebook page.

“All three of these done very regularly,” he said. “Frankly, the phone conversations have been terrific, reaching more people at a greater depth and frequency.”