Horace Mann Middle School adds food pantry to campus

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - Just outside of Horace Mann Middle School in Neenah sits a Blessing Box. Similar to the free Little Library concept, the box is stocked with non-perishable food and hygiene products for anyone in need to take.

Food pantry box outside school
Blessing Box food pantry outside Horace Mann Middle School. The concept is similar to the free Little Library with non-perishable food (WBAY photo)

"It may not be a full-blown food pantry, but it's a way to anonymously pick up something that may help the family out," says social studies teacher Joe Lewis.

Lewis brought the idea to Neenah after seeing it used in other communities.

He says, "I knew that Oshkosh had opened one up and were having some success with it, so I thought this would be a really neat thing to bring to our community and then I thought involving the schools would be a good lesson for the kids."

Even though the Blessing Box was only installed outside of their school last week, students are already taking notice.

Sixth-grader Abbi Bojarski says, "You know that you're helping out people that might not have the money to get what they need and they might not have enough money to feed the people in their homes."

"Some people have already brought in a couple of bags of the food and the hygiene items and we'll be seeing more of that," adds classmate Lauren Aaholm.

While the Blessing Box is meant to help people in need, Mr. Lewis believes it will have a far greater impact on the community.

He says, "I'm excited that we have that opportunity to have the kids feel like they can be part of this and make a small difference."

And as long as there is a need, the students and the school will collect items, sort them, and replenish the Blessing Box.

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