Helping fight hunger with “The Little Red Blessing Food Box”

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Special needs paraeducator Cynthia Buckner, who lives in Lexington, has always loved giving, crediting her father for nurturing a servant’s heart.

“At the end of grace, he would always say, ‘we just pray that somebody else hungry shall be fed.’ So whenever I put food in the blessing box I always say a prayer, saying, ‘may this food be used for the nourishment of someone’s body. A lot of parents don’t think their kids listen, but I remember him syaing it all the time,” said Buckner.

Now, she’s looking to fulfill a need she sees in her community. Buckner had the idea in early December to build “The Little Red Blessing Food Box” in front of her house on Alexandria Drive. Work started in March and her entire community pitched in to help build the box, stock it, and even plant flowers around it.

“I want this to be welcoming too, so I wanted them to feel comfortable. It’s a safe place that you can come get food from. Sometimes I’m hungry too, and I come down and get food so it’s not anything that you need to be ashamed about,” said Buckner.

Removing barriers is important when people are in need. Shellena Harmon, a Cynthiana resident and Buckner’s close friend of three years, emphasized the need is even greater during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“To bring something like this right now during COVID and the pandemic and unemployment is backed up…people just have no way to get anything. We definitely need this in our community,” said Harmon.

People can stop by to help stock the box with food or other essential items, or they can choose to take what they need. Buckner also keeps a freezer with perishable items, giving them out from her garage when she’s home.

“I always try to instill in the kids that I work with and my children to be good people, you know, and always do nice things,” said Buckner.

Buckner hopes to eventually place food boxes all over Lexington.

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