New Jersey couple offers food to neighbors in need with Blessing Box

NEPTUNE, New Jersey (WABC) -- While many people are struggling during the pandemic, one couple in New Jersey wanted to help so they set up a box outside their home and filled it with food.

For most neighbors, the thought of a family or a child not having food is just too much.

"We know what it's like, we've been down the road where Steve lost his job, we had young kids, and if it helps one family and if it puts Christmas gifts on the table that they didn't have to go to the grocery store, so be it," said Neptune resident Roz Smith.

The Smiths are intercepting hunger in their Neptune community and beyond.

The box that sits at the edge of their front yard, called a Blessing Box, is filled and refilled with food every day.

"I had people come up with a little bag, taking one or two items, and I said 'take whatever you want,' that's what I wrote on the front -- take what you need and leave what you can," Stephen Smith said.

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Word spread on social media and on the town's Facebook page. All of a sudden, the Smiths had more people contributing to the cause.

They would come home from work to bags and boxes of food on the deck.
Not only have others contributed to the Blessing Box on Hawthorne Avenue, but some have emulated the act and created similar concepts in their neighborhood.

High school sophomore Mary Jodry bought a box that her family has filled with personal hygiene products like face masks, dog food, toothpaste and brushes, hand sanitizer and other necessities.

"In the beginning a lot of people were kind of embarrassed to come, so it was really slow and people would come in the middle of the night, but more recently, a lot of people are coming during the day and even coming to our door to say thank you," Jodry said. "We have to refill it every other day which is amazing."

The Smith and Jodry families are simply happy that their boxes are filling the needs of those in their communities.

"I want to help as many people as we can until this is over," Stephen Smith said.

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