TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A small, local nonprofit is working to keep the Topeka community from going hungry.
Aine Nevar and Jeanine Russell run Bee The Blessing.
“Our box is always full and always empty,” Nevar said.
When they moved into their home in March of 2020, they started having the discussion if they wanted a blessing box in their front yard.
Fast forward to November when they decided to celebrate Christmas in a different way.
“We just decided that was our Christmas present to each other, to build a box and start putting food in it,” Russell said.
Their home, located near Southwest 10th Avenue & Southwest Fillmore Street, is in a food desert, meaning there aren’t any grocery stores nearby.
Russell said most of the people who stop by are either on foot or on a bike, so going somewhere where they donate boxes of items might be prohibitive for them.
“The anonymity of being able to walk up and just grab a few items and go on is probably helpful as well,” Russell said.
While maintaining their own, Russell and Nevar are also wanting to repair the nearly 40 other boxes around town.
Right now it’s just them, but they do have occasional volunteers help them. They want all the boxes around town to be serviced at least once a day.
While they always accept food and other items, they are also in need of monetary donations to help repair some of the boxes.
KSNT News recently held a food drive in hopes to give back to the community. The station donated everything collected to Bee the Blessing.
Russell and Nevar want people to know these blessing boxes are a judgment-free zone.
“We are not the judge of why someone stops by — or the block monitor — We’re not the monitor of the food,” they said.
If you’re interested in helping out, or if you want to learn where the blessing boxes around town are, you can head to their Facebook page. If you’d like to donate, click here. Russell and Nevar are also looking for someone to help them build a website.
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