By: Amy Morrison
Placentia, CA (April 30, 2021) – According to the US Census Bureau website, as of 2019 8.1% of Placentia’s population are in poverty. This means there are 4,149 people in Placentia who struggle to make ends meet. Marilyn Anderson, an assistant leader at a community service group called Love Placentia, found and implemented an idea called Blessings Boxes to help aid those in the city that can not always afford to buy more than they need.
Blessings Boxes are an easy way to distribute food or supplies to those in need. Blessings Boxes are cupboards left in well-traveled, public places such as parks where those that have spare non-perishable food and supplies can donate them; those who need such things but do not have the means to get them can take them from the Blessings Box for free.
The exact beginning of the ideas for Blessings Boxes is difficult to track, however the earliest it was reported was July of 2017 according to a CNN article titled, “Man Builds a Food Pantry on his lawn so the hungry can eat.”. A man named Roman Espinoza in Watertown, New York had the idea to create a food pantry available to all those who need it after learning about how a local community college had one for the students. Espinoza said in the interview with CNN that he hopes the presence of the boxes in his community will “. . .create an atmosphere of support and generosity.”
In Placentia, the Blessings Boxes work much the same as they do in Watertown. There are five different boxes set up around town where people can leave food and supplies. One of the boxes is at a local homeless shelter, HIS House and the other four are located at parks: Kock Park, McFadden Park, Parque de los Ninos, and Kraemer Park.
Valencia students and faculty have easy access to the last of those locations, Kraemer Park, which is just a short walk down to the road from campus. The Blessing Box provides an opportunity for students to donate and receive supplies in need.