Army veteran Roman Espinoza has taken an incredibly creative approach to helping those in need in his community: he installed a miniature food and supply panty right on his front lawn.
And Espinoza’s so-called “blessing box,” which is located outside of his home in Watertown, New York, is regularly stocked with food and supplies, allowing people to anonymously come at will to either donate or grab various items they need, CNN reported.
“Whether you’re taking or giving, you can just go to the blessing box,” he recently told the outlet. “There’s not a lock on it — it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Espinoza, 46, said that he got the idea for the pantry after taking a community college class and realizing that there was a pantry on campus for adult students in need. Recognizing that need motivated him to create the “blessing box” in an effort to help others.
In addition to food, it includes other personal care items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo and other supplies.
And while Espinoza had to initially stock the pantry himself, he said it has been self-sustaining ever since, with generous people frequently coming by to donate.
“The box itself is for the community and it’s sustained by the community,” he told CNN. “The community, the neighborhood and my block have been really supportive.”
Other people in Watertown are reportedly so inspired by Espinoza’s blessing box that they, too, have requested information on what it would take to install one on their own lawns.