ST. PETERS, MO - There is a new effort in St. Charles County to ensure no one goes hungry. The community-supported pantry is also anonymous.
Dr. Lynn Vitale, founder of the St. Peters Blessing Box said the motto is "Take what you need, and give when you can."
Blessing Boxes are popping up across the country, but Vitale said this is the first one in the St. Peters area. The community-supported, self-serve pantry is open 24 hours a day and located outside Vitale's Core Chiropractic and Acupuncture (500 Jungermann Road) in St. Peters.
"This is small, but believe it or not, this will make a difference for somebody," said Vitale. "Somebody between jobs can't get to Friday's paycheck, that kind of thing. That's kind of the purpose of it anyway."
There is no registration required. The Blessing Box is positioned slightly off the main road to ensure safety and some privacy.
"Everybody, at times, is in need of something, and it's just a great, discreet way to come by grab something," said community member David Cleveland.
Vitale posted about the effort on her practice's Facebook page, and the community was receptive. A local contractor volunteered to install the posts and mount the Blessing Box and someone else donated the shingles.
Between Vitale and other donors, the box was filled with non-perishable food and personal care items like shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, and razors. Vitale said she aims to include a variety of options and enough ingredients to make full meals.
"If I was hungry and I really wanted to get something to eat, I would feel so grateful to open this cabinet and say, 'I'm not stuck with just soup,'" said Vitale.
People interested in donating to the Blessing Box may simply show up and do so. Overflow items and monetary donations may be dropped off at Core Chiropractic & Acupuncture (500 Jungerman Road, Suite 200).
Vitale said the next step will be to install a separate box where people may anonymously request specific items and prayers.