Stuart began the ministry after seeing its neighbors go without food and other necessities amid the coronary virus pandemic. Now a simple wooden cupboard she calls the “Al Baraka Box” offers much-needed help to her community.
Stewart told CNN, referring to her inspiration for the Al Baraka Fund: “I love to find the coupon and find deals, and I’ve already got stock for my family and thought,” How can I use this? ”
Stewart, 40, a mother of five, entered the Internet and saw other communities open pantry cabinets in public places, but she knew there was no one near her home in Lula, Georgia.
She said: “My husband and I are not a carpenter in any way, but we built this little box.”
The Blessed Box needed a home, and Stewart turned to Facebook. You have published a post looking for an easily accessible audience.
And that’s when Amanda Browning, the owner of Amanda’s Farm to Fork, responded.
“Girl, I can pick you up,” said Browning, volunteering on the front porch of her restaurant. “I have the perfect place.”
Browning, 45, who also lives in Lula, told CNN that Stewart turned over the box late June morning and that the response was immediate.
“All day long that day, only people from the local area were going out to fill this box. It didn’t stop,” Browning said.
Browning said that Lula’s community regularly fills the box with canned goods and soups, along with toiletries like toothbrushes and feminine hygiene products. Local farmers also come to deliver fresh produce.
The pool is so busy that Browning and Stewart are looking to build a larger version to keep up with demand. Browning said many of her neighbors “only get something from here. They always try to leave something in return.”
She said that some people receiving food from local food banks trade in their unused goods in exchange for food from the pool, while others leave magazines and water bottles.
Browning said she built her restaurant around the spirit of giving. The restaurant hosts an annual winter coat campaign, and said the parts they provide are on purpose intentionally.
“We were providing food to many elderly people, and we knew they were getting a steady income,” she said. “By giving them larger portions, they will be able to eat for a few days.”
When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Browning said that society knows that her restaurant will not be able to survive when eating alone.
Browning said that some of her clients went up and asked for “additional food, then handed him over to some of their friends, and took it to other people who were closed, and other families in the area.”
Seeing the pool box bloom fills Stewart with passion, especially when you meet children coming to the box.
She said: “Seeing the children come without my mom and dad, go up to the blessed box … This makes me feel comfortable when I know he’s around the clock, seven days a week. These kids can go to him whenever they need something.”