‘We met this gorgeous young man – he was from overseas. He told us he came last night and took lentils from the box. He then asked if he could take more and we said, “Of course!”
‘He told us he literally had no food at home. I didn’t realise that – if I saw him in any other setting I would not have guessed.
‘We’ve created the Newtown Blessing Box – a community street pantry where people can leave pantry items or even toiletry items, for whoever is in need. If they can give, they can give, and whoever needs it, they’re more than welcome to help themselves to as much as they like.
‘Creating the Newtown Blessing Box has made a massive impact to my own personal mental health. I own a business with my partner. The business has slowed down so instead of only focusing on that, we decided to look around at the world and see what else is going on. We saw asylum seekers making their way to the Asylum Seekers Centre and they mustn’t have known the centre was closed. They were going there for food and we realised they would have nothing.
‘Coming out everyday to check on the box, make it neat and presentable and to read the notes that people leave, it’s exciting to look forward to. Everyday someone leaves a note and there is something new. We get really excited and wonder who each item is from. We see our neighbours do a dash and put something in. Those interactions are really important and beautiful and heart warming and I now know my neighbours. It’s really made a positive impact on our mental health.’
Visit the Newtown Blessing Box on the corner of Bedford and Station Streets in Newtown. Give what you can and take what you need.