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Blessing Boxes spreading across Johnston

Freestanding pantries offer free food, personal care items

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SMITHFIELD — Less than a year after placing its first four Blessing Boxes in Johnston County, the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield has installed two more, with plans to add another two.

The club’s provisional members installed the boxes, said Amy Gibson, Blessing Box committee chair.

“When our provisional members began discussing potential projects in August 2019, we quickly decided to create additional Blessing Boxes based on .. the usage of those boxes and the support of the community in making contributions,” she said.

Blessing Boxes are small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items for people in need. They can access the boxes at any time.

The provisional members coordinated a drive among JWL members to stock and replenish the boxes, and club members encourage their fellow Johnstonians to contribute items.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Blessing Boxes are currently being used more than ever,” said Erin Smith, the club’s vice president of community outreach and engagement. “Members of the public are invited to add things to the boxes themselves, but if they would prefer to support our efforts while quarantined, monetary donations to help stock the boxes are being accepted on our website,”

The club’s Blessing Boxes are at the following locations: 

• Archer Lodge Fire Department, 6483 Covered Bridge Road, Clayton.

• Benson Fire Department, 313 S. Elm St., Benson.

• Meadow Fire Department, 7409 N.C. 50 South, Benson.

• Selma Fire Department, 201 N. Webb St., Selma.

• Smithfield Fire Department, 111 S. Fourth St., Selma.

• Thanksgiving Fire Department, 2375 Thanksgiving Fire Department Road, Selma.