TROY — Troy Christian High School senior Maiya Dilbone is taking the old “take a penny, leave a penny” concept to the next level by helping feed her community — one “Blessing Box” at a time.
Dilbone has been volunteering at the St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen with her family since she was 11.
“I was aware of the need to a certain extent, however, it wasn’t until more recently that I realized that kids and teenagers that come here are no different than me,” Dilbone said.
It was a conversation with a teen while serving food in the soup kitchen that sparked the idea of the Community Food Truck Blessing Boxes.
A young girl shared with Dilbone that she doesn’t eat lunch at school due to the shame or embarrassment tied to the free lunch program. Dilbone, the daughter of Kevin and Kristen Dilbone of Troy, then began to think of ways to get food to people in need anonymously and the Blessing Box Free Food Truck mission was born.
Her father builds the boxes and she paints them at their home.
Maiya’s first Blessing Box was placed at the Lincoln Community Center where she volunteers as a tutor.
With the first box in place, Dilbone said she saw the need for the Blessing Boxes was “greater than I ever imagined.” The Blessing Box mission has grown with 11 boxes placed in Troy and Tipp City with plans for several more to come this spring.
Each box has a theme that matches the neighborhood. Each box also has its mission on the box — “Give what you can, Take what you need.”
The Blessing Boxes have been in place for a year. Each box is filled each day and monitored by volunteers from local churches, neighborhoods and groups, such as fitness clubs and businesses.
The boxes are filled with food daily from the volunteers or those who anonymously donate to the trucks on their own. Dilbone said the boxes are for food items only.
The Grace Baptist Church of Troy member said she was amazed by how the community has embraced the Blessing Box’s mission. Dilbone, who plans to study business at Ohio Northern University, said it’s a good feeling knowing people are able to access food in an anonymous and dignified way.
“I’m so grateful for this community and how they got involved … it has had an impact on so many people in this community,” said Dilbone, who is involved with student council and played soccer.
The Community Food Truck Blessing Box, a 501 (3)c non-profit, recently launched its website at www.thecommunityfoodtruck.com. To donate, contact Dilbone at [email protected].