Note left in blessing box shows dire need for food donations in Cabarrus County

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. — Thousands of families turn to food pantries and food banks every day in our area, and in Cabarrus County, some use blessing boxes to get their meals.

But this week, it’s not what was taken from a box that’s getting people’s attention -- it’s what was left behind.

Linda Grebler and her granddaughter, Ivy Mae, help fill a blessing box every week. It’s a box where people leave what they can so others can take what they need.

“We have some rice and veggies, we have pasta and we have some canned goods,” she showed Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz.

Grebler knows what it means to need a blessing or two.

“I’ve had two kids and I’ve struggled,” she said. “And I know what it’s like to be hungry and wonder how you’re going to buy that next gallon of milk for your babies, so I get it.”

“Many, many families are suffering,” said Sheryl Kluge, who founded the 1CAN organization.

She runs the blessing boxes and said the need for food is higher than ever.

“With inflation, and also the reduction in food stamps by this state, we are seeing the need grow and grow and grow,” Kluge said.

“Our boxes are not making it 24 hours without being emptied,” she added.

It’s why she was heartbroken to see a note that was left inside a mailbox on a blessing box this week.

“He wrote, ‘I really need food. I’m poor and haven’t ate for days. Came to this box and it was empty,’” Kluge said.

She said it’s a sign of the times: A growing need made worse by shrinking donations.

“We’re being hit in all areas where we were being supported,” she said.

It’s why she’s pleading for donations, reminding everyone they can fill these shelves themselves or donate to their warehouse. With those contributions, blessing box keepers like Ivy Mae and Linda Grebler can keep blessing others who count on them.

There are eight blessing boxes across Cabarrus County. Five are in Concord, two are in Kannapolis, and one is in Harrisburg.

If you’d like to donate, you can click here.

(WATCH BELOW: USPS collects donations for Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive)

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.

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