Roman Espinoza doesn't want anyone to go hungry, and he's set up a "blessing box" outside of his Watertown, New York, home, with nonperishable food items and toiletries available for anyone to take, any time of the day.
"Whether you're taking or giving, you can just go to the blessing box," he told CNN. "There's not a lock on it — it's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week." Espinoza, an Army veteran, was taking a class at a local college when he found out the school had a food pantry set up for students in need. He was inspired to do something to help on his own, and set the blessing box up in his yard, stocked with food, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, bandages, and more. "The community, the neighborhood, and my block have been really supportive," he said, and it's rare that the small pantry is empty; if he doesn't fill it up, neighbors and strangers do.
Espinoza said he has been approached by people who want boxes of their own to put in front of their homes, and he's hopeful that they will start popping up all across town. "Watertown, New York, in the next five years, could be known as the city of blessing boxes," he said.