Bayside church unveils blessing box to help fight food insecurity in the community

All Saints
Photo courtesy of Diana Gilday.

Bayside’s All Saints Episcopal Church unveiled a blessing box outside the church building at the corner of 40th Avenue and 214th Street during a special service on Sept. 18. As its newest community outreach ministry, the blessing box is meant to help fight food insecurity in the community.

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All Saints Rector Rev. Laurence Byrne speaks at the blessing box unveiling. (Photo courtesy of Diana Gilday)

The blessing box was constructed by parishioners of the church. Various non-perishable foods and personal items quickly filled up the box. According to the church, the only rule that should apply to those who wish to either donate to or receive from the blessing box is to leave what they can and take what they need.

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A parishioner puts on the finishing touches of All Saints’ blessing box. (Photo courtesy of Diana Gilday)

“Food insecurity is an enormous problem today,” Rev. Byrne said. “While we have a long-standing ministry supporting the Flushing Deanery Food Pantry at Grace Episcopal Church in Whitestone, we wanted to do something specifically for Bayside, where too often need is hidden and therefore not addressed. The blessing box is the result.”

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Kids donating to the blessing box (Photo courtesy of Diana Gilday)

According to Rev. Byrne, All Saints was just the latest parish in the Diocese of Long Island to join the successful initiative of blessing boxes. Additionally, the blessing box was the latest community program that All Saints undertook during its yearlong celebration of its 130th anniversary. This celebration kicked off last June with a free community concert followed by a town hall in August on preventing gun violence in the community.

Those interested in donating food or supplies that may be too big for the blessing box are encouraged to call the church office at 718-229-5631 to make drop-off arrangements.

Founded in 1892, All Saints Episcopal Church prides itself in its diverse congregation reflecting the diversity of the borough of Queens. People from many different cultures, from all walks of life and from many Christian denominations have come to call All Saints their own.